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July 22. 2014 7:35PM

Claremont begins demolishing old outdoor pool

CLAREMONT — The demolition of the John McClane Clark Outdoor Pool at Veterans Park is underway.

The declining use of the outdoor pool by the public didn’t warrant a costly renovation, according to City Manager Guy Santagate.

“When you looked at the amount of people using it — compared to how much water they were losing — it wasn’t worth it financially,” Mayor James Neilsen said Tuesday.

A resident who came in with the low bid of $20,000 is demolishing the pool.

“He’s already knocked the cinder block (bathhouse) building down,” Neilsen said.

The cinder blocks are to be pushed into the concrete pool, the pool will be filled and the ground will be re-sloped and seeded, Neilsen said.

“The waterlines are staying intact, because at some point Claremont did talk about putting in a slide and splash park for kids,” Neilsen said, but there are no current plans for such a project. “As much as we’d like a splash park down there, Claremont has a lot of other infrastructure needs out there.”

In October, a report compiled by a firm hired by the city to study the pool confirmed that repairs to the pool would not be worth the money.

The Boston-based firm Bargmann Hendrie + Archetype, Inc. said in its report that an investment of about $460,000 by the city in order to reopen the current pool and bathhouse would not be a cost effective use of potential funds.

Built in the 1950s, the outdoor pool was last renovated in the 1970s.

The pool, which was typically open for just eight weeks out of the year, closed two summers ago because the large amounts of water leaking made chlorinating the pool properly difficult, creating a potential public health issue. The 35-year-old gutter system appeared to be the source of the pool leaks.

The Parks and Recreation Department had supported the demolition and proposed a $250,000 outdoor splash park to replace it. City officials gave residents opposed to the demolition until April to come up with an alternate plan to save the outdoor pool, but no one came forward.

The community has an indoor pool at the Claremont Savings Bank Community Center, which opened last year.

mpierce@newstote.com


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