June 3, 2004
City Anticipating August Opening Date For New Swimming Pool
Traditionally Memorial Day has marked the opening of the Memphis City Swimming Pool. That will not be the case in 2004 as the city is in the midst of a massive project to replace the aged swimming hole with a new and improved summer recreation spot.
The one downside of the project is that local swimmers will be out of action until the middle of the summer. The city received a grant to help fund the project, but delays in receiving the appropriated monies stalled the project until this spring.
Sparks Construction out of Kirksville is the contractor responsible for the project. According to the company’s bonding report, they are 75 percent complete with their portion of the project. The vast majority of the concrete work on the pool itself has been completed. However the cement must cure for 28 days before it can be sandblasted and painted.
An independent contractor from the state of New York put the finishing touches on the new stainless steel gutter system around the pool.
The gutter system takes water off the top of the pool and sends it into an 8’ x 10’ underground surge tank. The water then is recycled through the pool’s filtering system. The filter is a two-piece system, with the second injecting the filtered water back into the pool.
“This is a much better system,” said Superintendent Roy Monroe. “ The old filter system inserted the water back into the pool in only two or three places. These new gutters put fresh water back all around the pool and in a much faster time.”
The new system will completely replace the pool water every six to eight hours.
While much of the construction is done for the contractors, the city’s departments still have their work cut out for them.
City workers will be building the pool house and the kiddie pool as well as the cement deck around the entire facility.
“Right now we have been working on placing the concrete supports for the deck all around the pool,” Monroe said. “Basically these are 11-foot tall cement pillars that will hold the decking.”
There will be plenty of supports to pour, as the new pool has a much larger deck area. Monroe said the deck on the east side of the pool will be eight feet wide. The north side will be 12 feet wide while the south side of the pool, where the diving board will be located, will have 18-feet of deck.
But the larger deck is not the only part of the project that is bigger. The pool itself is larger, measuring 82 feet by 51 feet.
“It’s funny because everyone asks me why we made the new pool smaller,” Monroe said. “It’s actually one or two feet bigger on each side and is 10-feet deep instead of just eight feet deep.”
The new pool will feature a handicap-accessible ramp on the north end of the pool. The ramp enters in three-foot deep water and extends 36-feet into the pool.
While the deck will require numerous loads of concrete of its own, the pool itself has taken its fair share of concrete. The floor is 18-inches thick as are the wall bases, which eventually taper off at the top to just 12-inch thickness.
But the concrete doesn’t stop there. The city will be pouring the kiddie pool. The plan calls for a circular pool 20-feet in diameter. The pool will feature zero entrance, meaning there is no step or ledge surrounding the area. The city is still considering options for installation of a sprinkler or other form of entertainment for the younger swimmers in this pool.
The city crew will also be responsible for constructing the pool house, which will house the dressing rooms, rest rooms and the pool’s business office.
The lone leftover from the old pool will be the concession stand. The building will be moved into the pool area once the project is completed. By using the older building, the project is in compliance with the grant process, which requires part of the old facility be reused.
The builders will be doing plenty of work underground as well. The city will install all of the plumbing for the facility.
“There is a tremendous amount of plumbing for the pool and the buildings,” Monroe said. “All of this is underground and obviously must be completed before the deck is in place.”
With an anticipated July 5th completion date for the contractors, Monroe said the city is hoping to have the pool in service in August.
Mayor Ron Alexander said the project currently is approaching a $330,000 price tag, or roughly $25,000 over budget.
A number of community groups and sponsors have already pledged to help the project by purchasing equipment for the pool. Pepsi-Cola Memphis Bottling Company has donated the slide for the new pool. Other groups have pledged to purchase lounge chairs and other accessories for the pool deck.
Additional funding is still needed to help furnish the new pool. Anyone interested in assisting can contact Alderman Lucas Remley.
Other final touches on the facility will include fencing, landscaping and parking.
Monroe said the new pool has been moved far enough to the west to allow cars to be parked on the east side. He said he hopes there will be enough fill dirt left from the pool to level the south parking area. The city is considering applying for a grant from the Missouri Department of Conservation to help fund landscaping around the pool area.
The fencing is included in the original bid package but will be one of the final pieces to be installed. Monroe said there will be a separate fence around the kiddie pool to prevent young children from wandering unattended into the main pool area for saefty reasons.