CLAREMONT — A preliminary report on the John McLane Clark Outdoor Pool at Veterans Park says the 35-year old gutter system is the source of leaks.
The report confirms what Parks and Recreation staff realized two summers ago when they closed the pool because of the leaks.
The Boston firm Bargmann Hendrie + Archetype, Inc. plans to have the full report to the outdoor pool committee by Wednesday, committee member and city Parks and Recreation Director Scott Hausler said Friday.
Hausler came before the City Council this week to present the preliminary report.
Built in the 1950s, the pool was last renovated in the 1970s.
Use of the pool has changed over the years, Hausler said.
“Today it’s a lot different. There are a lot of different options for kids, and pools are something a lot of people have in their backyards,” Hausler said.
Hausler and his staff had recommended that instead of renovating the pool and bathhouse for $1 million, that perhaps demolishing it and replacing it with an outdoor splash park for about $250,000 would be a better fit for residents today.
The community also has an indoor pool at the recently opened Claremont Savings Bank Community Center.
The John McLane Clark Outdoor Pool is only opened eight weeks out of the year.
“Typically during those eight weeks there are several days when you are closed down because of the weather,” Hausler said.
The splash park project would be cheaper and would cost less to operate, he said.
“You don’t have to have lifeguards to man them. You can have less staff,” Hausler said.
These splash pads and aquatic parks have been enhancing or replacing municipal outdoor pools across the country, Hausler said.
“We are always looking at trends and managing parks and looking to get people into their parks and enjoying them,” Hausler said. “People go to those facilities and spend the day.” That idea, though, was opposed by resident Jeffrey Barrett who circulated a petition to save the city’s outdoor pool.
Barrett now sits on the outdoor committee with Hausler and other city officials.
At Wednesday’s meeting, Barrett said he didn’t accept the findings of the preliminary report.
“He’s never believed that we were losing the water,” Hausler said.
Hausler said the committee plans to review the full report and then present it to the city council with their recommendations.