River Cities

Miami Springs’ $5 million pool delayed, perhaps to Fourth of July

The old Miami Springs city pool that served the community for decades was demolished in March 2015.
The old Miami Springs city pool that served the community for decades was demolished in March 2015. For the Miami Herald

Locals hoping to cool off next month at Miami Springs’ new $5 million aquatic center might have to wait until Fourth of July.

An April 2016 “grand opening” was featured on the city’s website that describes the new 6,000-square-foot pool with lap-swimming lanes, a giant slide and a one-story administrative office.

“Everything is coming along great,” and “we are on schedule” touts a March 2016 city website update.

When the city broke ground a year ago, it was originally announced the pool would open in Summer 2016.

In January, it was believed the pool wouldn’t open until after Labor Day.

“The allowable contract time should be modified by 100 calendar days resulting in a final completion date of September 6, 2016,” wrote Michael Valdes, senior project manager for Lunacon Construction Group, in a Jan. 28 memo to the city obtained by the Miami Herald through a public records request.

Labor Day, which typically marks the end of summer, falls on Sept. 5.

“As you are aware, the project was significantly delayed as a result of an official interpretation by the Miami-Dade County Fire Department which required the addition of a fire suppression system in the multi-purpose building,” Valdes wrote.

On March 14, the Herald pushed the city for a definitive opening date.

“The new delay duration is now 60 days in lieu of the 100 days as previously noted,” wrote a Lunacon official in a March 23 email to the city.

Two days later, the opening date was scheduled for July 4.

Some residents are still concerned the pool won’t open until after Labor Day.

“This will be the second year where there’s no pool to use during the kids’ summer break,” said longtime resident Nestor Suarez. “It was a bad decision to destroy the old pool before the new pool was completed.”

Suarez said most Miami Springs children have been swimming at Milander Aquatic Center at 4820 Palm Ave. in Hialeah. He feels the city has let residents down as leaders promised to keep the old pool open during new pool construction.

The city of Miami Springs invites residents to speak about the pool delay, as well as other issues, during open forum at the next council meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, April 11, at City Hall, 201 Westward Dr.