River Cities

Miami Springs’ new $5 million pool to open July 2

Miami Springs will at last opens its new $5 million pool, just in time for the Fourth of July holiday.
Miami Springs will at last opens its new $5 million pool, just in time for the Fourth of July holiday. For the Miami Herald

After construction delays, Miami Springs will at last opens its new $5 million pool, just in time for the Fourth of July holiday.

“The new aquatic center offers a community-oriented pool with water activities, cabanas, a large activity room, concession stand, modern support facilities with lockers, conventional and family restrooms, showers, administrative and equipment spaces and a consolidated parking lot,” states a city news release.

The old Miami Springs city pool that served the community for decades was demolished in March 2015 in hopes of rebuilding by summer 2016. In January, though, 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 this year.

“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.

One resident questions whether the city properly supervised the construction phase.

“There was not enough time to undertake the proper due diligence by the council and things like the contaminated underground landfill conditions were overlooked,” said local architect, Martin Marquez.

Marquez was referring to the tanks found by contractors as they prepped the foundation for the new $5 million pool facility.

The Herald reported in October 2015 that along with a 300-gallon underground storage tank, a separate 2,400 gallon tank, believed to have been used for diesel storage, was unearthed.

One of the tanks ruptured and an “unknown” amount of liquid was released to adjacent surface soils, stated an August 2015 DERM report.

“Does the contaminated soils and underground oil tank found at the pool dig site have anything to do with the reason the new pool was designed much smaller to reduce soil bearing weight of the structure?,” Marquez said.

More than five tons of “petroleum contaminated soil” was scooped from the pool area Aug. 25 and hauled off to a Medley landfill, states a city soil disposal report obtained by the Herald through a public records request.

An email from the Herald to Miami Springs City Manager Ron Gorland and council members seeking answers to Marquez’s questions was not returned.

“The soil and groundwater analysis do not exceed the cleanup target levels referenced in Chapter 24 of the Miami-Dade County code,” reads a letter sent Sept. 25 from DERM to the city of Miami Springs. “If subsequent evidence indicates that undiscovered contamination remains from a previous discharge or if a new discharge has occurred, then further action will be required to address such contamination.”

​The public is invited to grand opening of the pool at 6 p.m. on July 1.

​“The residents are excited,” said Councilwoman Rosie Buckner. “I’m sure that the kids will love that slide”

If you go

▪ What: Miami Springs pool grand opening

▪ Where: 1401 Westward Dr., Miami Springs

▪ When: 6 p.m. July 1

▪ For information, call 305-805-5078