Alva Review-Courier -

'It's got a heavy price tag'

• Public hearing on Alva swimming pool


April 21, 2019

Marione Martin

Left: Jim Scribner asks what the nearly $2 million price tag buys the city on the municipal swimming pool renovation. Right: "I think it's important to have a pool," Jewel LeDou tells the Alva City Council Monday.

Three people spoke to the Alva City Council during a hearing on the municipal swimming pool Monday. Mayor Kelly Parker gave some background on the closing of the pool and asked for public input.

"The health department has cited us for several issues in regard to the structure and function of our pool," said Parker. "They've granted us the ability to go ahead and open this summer with less than $10,000 of repairs to the pool, but that is contingent upon carrying out a plan to rehabilitate what we have there and bring it into compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) for the bath house."

Parker explained estimates to fix the pool are around $2.5 to $2.6 million as opposed to building new. But costs could be higher when the city goes out for bids. "Who knows what it would come in at exactly? Sometimes things come in less; sometimes things come in more than what the engineer's estimated."

The mayor said he and the council wanted to know where the public stands on what should be done about the pool. "Should we have a pool? Should we not have a pool? Do we finance? Do we not finance?"

Jewel LeDou Addresses the Need

Jewel LeDou, retired police dispatcher, was the first to speak. "I think it is very nice to have a pool. There's lots of kids that don't get to go anywhere in the summer, and they need to go to the pool.

"And another thing is they learn to swim there. My kids learned to swim there."

She said she never learned to swim and it was "a real plus" to her family for the girls to learn. "I think it's important to have a pool."

Lenny Reed Talks about Historical Value

"I'm here kind of like a historical representation," said Lenny Reed. "It was built by the WPA in 1939. One of the foremen was some guy named Joseph H. Reed so I have an emotional connection to the building.

"I would encourage somebody to look at grants to getting it declared a historical site. For a long time it was the largest cement pool in the state of Oklahoma.

"Three generations grew up learning to swim there. I'm one of the old timers. I remember the tower. That was always a big thrill. I understand for insurance reasons why that was removed."

Reed said before the meeting, Councilmember Randy Stelling mentioned the need to redo the bathrooms for handicapped accessibility. Something was also said about a splash park. Reed said, "I've heard some people complain about the splash park at Woodward, that it tends to be aimed only at younger kids," he said. "And if there are people doing four-wheel drive through the cemetery at night, maybe if the pool was open they would not consider having other activities on their mind." Reed is a member of the cemetery board.

"So I encourage you to keep the pool, get it repaired and do whatever is necessary. And hopefully check into a historical grant for the building," Reed concluded.

Jim Scribner Asks About the Price Tag

"What I'd like to know is, what does the $2 million buy?" City Marshal Jim Scribner asked.

Mayor Parker read from the city's compliance plan submitted to the health department. Phase 1 costing $9,840 includes replace buoy line hooks, paint a contrasting band at the main drain, label piping and provide operating instructions, post pool volume and recirculation rate, install chemical analyzer, install new chlorine feed system, repairs and modifications to chemical room, and install loose electrical wiring in conduit. Phase one is to be accomplished this spring.

Phase 2 of the plan carries a $1,548,250 price tag. Parker said engineering has to be involved on this size of project. Planning and engineering and documentation will cost around $125,000. The construction part will cost $1,420,000. He explained the north end of the pool has sunk so water doesn't come up over the gutters. The only place the pool actually recirculates its own water is in the shallow end where the water does come up over the gutters.

"A lot of this construction has to do with making sure that comes up to a level where the gutters work as they're designed to," said Parker. This phase will include:

• Remove existing gutters and replace them with stainless steel gutters.

• Replace mechanical room piping, filters and equipment.

• Run a camera through the drain lines to determine what needs to be replaced.

• Repair cracks in concrete.

• Provide new supply return lines.

• Remove old grout and put in new grout.

• Provide an in-line strainer.

• Repaint the pool.

Parker said the city will likely self-perform some of these items such as repainting the pool which will lower the cost.

Phase 3 will begin in spring 2020. This $670,250 phase is for "the actual gut and remodel" of the bath house to make it ADA compliant, according to Parker.

This plan does not include a splash pad. According to City Business Manager Joe Don Dunham, a splash pad for small children was estimated to cost between $125,000 and $150,000 additional.


"I'm like Lenny," said Parker. "I appreciate the historical value about as much as I appreciate having spent my childhood out there learning to swim and only getting into enough trouble to be allowed to come back the next day.

"To me it's a quality of life staple of our community, but it's got a heavy price tag."

Marione Martin

Lenny Reed suggests checking grants to make the Alva swimming pool a historical site.

"The remodel of the bath house does include salvaging any of the historical façade we can possibly salvage," said Dunham. He's instructed the engineers that the city wants to keep the front part of the bath house that reads "City of Alva 1939". He said they'll try to keep the sidewalls if possible but the interior will be replaced for ADA accessibility.

Scribner suggested with modern technology the pool might be lined with a polymer or plastic.

Dunham said a plastic pool liner wouldn't work well in Alva's situation and was not recommended. He said the pool is too big to have that work effectively.

"It was more expensive also," added Parker.

"We do appreciate the opinions of all you folks this evening. We also appreciate those that took the time to respond to the survey on Facebook," said Parker. "The message I get from the survey was: we want a pool, you guys figure out how to do it. That's what we're going to be working on."


Reader Comments

harry writes:

The gutters are not for recirculating water, they are for overflow. They use to clean the pool once a week and I don't think this is happening.


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