After receiving no bids to handle the proposed renovations, Cravens Pool will be closed for the fourth straight year in 2023.
City Parks Director Amanda Rogers said the original bid proposal that went out at the end of the summer called for all construction be done by summer 2023. She said companies are having difficulty getting materials, and many wouldn’t be able to complete the project in the requested time frame.
The proposal also would have allowed design recommendations and construction plans from the same company. Rogers said the plan going forward would be to have a separate bid proposals for design recommendations and construction to help move the project along.
In January, after five months of conducting public opinion and assessing costs, Rogers recommended to City Commissioners that the City spend $600,000 for renovations and repairs for Cravens Pool.
Rogers first appeared before the City Commission in August saying that Cravens Pool was in need of “significant repairs” totaling $383,000 just to get back up to code. The Parks Department later held a forum with community members seeking input.
A poll was then open for 20 days presenting a variety of options for the future of the pool including closure; repairing back to code; repairing back to code and adding amenities; or replacing with a different water facility altogether.
According to the responses, the best option was to repair the pool back to code and add additional amenities to the pool.
The total cost would be $600,000 for renovations and repairs.
The necessary renovations include bringing the pool back up to code by fixing the lining among other needs. Plans also include additions requested during the public response research by the Parks Department.
Rogers said Tuesday that the idea of only repairing the facility back to code just to ensure the surrounding neighborhood had a pool wasn’t a good option, so she’s glad they decided to do significant renovations.
“Financially, I think that’s a poor use of the tax dollars because to get us just to where we need to be would be $383,000. So we’d be spending that with the potential turnaround of tearing out all of that,” she said.
The project itself would not take more than three months to complete, according to Rogers.
Since the pool will not be open next summer, Rogers said she is open to bringing back the transit vouchers for families that would need transportation to Combest Pool.
The first summer that Cravens was closed, the department had free vouchers present at City Hall, the Parks Office, and the Housing Authority for families.
“I’m open to doing that again because we want Combest Pool to be utilized. We want people to have that option. I hate that we can’t offer Cravens because we had one pool on the east and the west, and that was really nice because it kind of gave people an opportunity based on the shortest commute,” Rogers said.
In other business, Rogers noted that the outdoor tennis court project at Centre Court on Bittel Road is undergoing some delays. Assistant City Engineer Dirk Dooper said that due to rain conditions, the soil has been significantly wet and impacted the construction.
Originally the courts were set to be finished in September; however, they are now expecting to be completed by Oct. 31.