By Alyssa Schnugg
The city of Oxford is looking into building a new pool for the community after getting a $450,000 estimate to fix the existing Oxford City Pool, that has started to show its age in recent years.
The pool is more than 40 years old and was built around 1978. For the last several years, the Board of Aldermen has been spending money to put “band-aids” on the pool.
According to Oxford Park Commission Director Seth Gaines, the city was getting ready to fix the deck around the pool before the pool opened in May. The city asked a pool construction expert, Walter Rice, to come to look at the pool.
“He said we can fix the deck but we’d back in two years,” Gaines said. “Basically, the beam around the entire pool is cracked. The water is coming out of the crack in the pool which is making the deck was away.”
Gaines said Rice said it would cost about $450,000 to fix the pool enough for it to be “a good, functional” pool.
“Now, that’s just an opinion and not an actual quote,” Gaines told the Oxford Board of Aldermen Monday during a work session meeting.
Rice also said it would cost about $700,000 to build a new pool the same size as the current pool.
“That is only the pool – not the pumps, not the bathrooms, not the mechanics,” Gaines said.
Alderman Ulysses “Coach” Howell said the city needs to stop putting Band-aids on the pool and fix it once and for all, even if that means building a new pool.
“As much as that thing gets used by our kids, we need that pool,” Howell said.
Alderman Jason Bailey suggested building a new pool in Stone Park where the baseball field currently sits.
“We’d have more parking,” he said Monday.
Mayor Robyn Tannehill reminded the aldermen the $700K price was just the pool structure alone.
“That price doesn’t include concession stands and bathrooms and parking lots,” she said.
Stone Park was built using funds from a Land and Water Conservation Fund through the National Park Service that requires any use on the land to be for outdoor recreation. The grant limits what can be used on the property.
Bart Robinson, chief operating officer for the city of Oxford, said he would contact the National Park Service and first see if a pool would be allowed on the grounds of Stone Park.
Gaines said to make the pool last another season this year, he could spend about $9,000 to lower some of the cutouts 1-2 inches that would drop the water below the crack, so it would not leak as much and slow down some of the damage to the deck.
The Board of Aldermen approved spending the $9,000 to lower the water and about $5,000 to grind down the uneven areas to prevent people from hurting their feet.