Report: Moores Park Pool Needs At Least $ 4.8 Million In Repairs

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KYLE KAMINSKI

An assessment report released last week shows that the Moores Park swimming pool will require at least $ 4.8 million in renovations before it can be safely reopened to the public after its indefinite closure in 2019. A more expensive option could carry these repairs cost approximately $ 6.3 million.

And now city officials and local fundraising groups are heading to the drawing board to determine if these bills can be paid or if the closed public pool will deteriorate.

“To protect the oldest surviving Bintz swimming pool in America, our group is focused on restoring and maintaining this historic gem as an invaluable asset and community space for generations to come,” explained Veronica Gracia-Wing , president of Friends of the Moores Park Pool. .

In recent months, contractors have been hired by the city to provide “much needed data and information as we consider what it would cost to rehabilitate the Moores Park swimming pool,” said the mayor of Lansing, Andy Schor. A report on their findings was released on Friday. Friends of Moores Park Pool, a local fundraising group, paid half of the $ 60,000 assessment.

In addition to specifically outlining a list of the many repairs needed to bring the pool up to par, the report outlined two options on how to do them, as well as two separate price tags.

• Option 1 focuses on maintaining the historic architecture of the pool and costs approximately $ 4.8 million. It includes a pool wall design that is expected to last 20 years and, because it matches the historic nature of the existing building, it is also the preferred option by the State Historic Preservation Office and the US National Park Service.

• Option 2 includes additional code deficiencies discovered by state health officials and would increase expected life expectancy to 50 years at an increased cost of approximately $ 6.3 million.
Schor said the bill for these repairs would compete with “many financial demands for needed services across the city” – including road and sidewalk repairs and other expenses.

“I look forward to working with the Friends of the Moores Park Pool on a community fundraising plan, potential grant opportunities and working with them as we move forward,” said Schor.

Gracia-Wing told City Pulse that the recent assessment report will serve as a guide to flesh out a “workable strategy with concrete tactics, roles, responsibilities and goals.” Over the next few weeks, city officials and fundraising groups will work together to develop a plan.

In Option 1, the report lists approximately $ 2.7 million in repairs as “immediate priority” and approximately $ 1.8 million as “necessary priority”. Option 2 would increase these costs by approximately $ 1.5 million.

The contractors also suggested that the repairs will require “extra funds” beyond a public fundraising campaign. As a historic structure listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the US National Park Service, the city could also benefit from grants and low-interest loans.

City officials shut down the facility in fall 2019 and said it would need at least $ 1.2 million in repairs before it can safely reopen to the public.

The leaks cost about $ 1,400 a week to keep it filled while chlorinated water poured into the soil below. The pandemic – and budget deficits – have only pushed the pool down on the city’s budget priority list. It remained closed last summer and will certainly not be refilled in time for this summer, officials said.

Previously, the Lansing Southwest Pool was open seven days a week, 10 weeks a year.

Tucked into a hill overlooking Eckert’s power station, the pool was designed by former Lansing town engineer Wesley Bintz and also has historical value beyond just a neighborhood oasis. The 1922 ellipsoidal fieldstone rock ring structure is the oldest surviving Bintz pool in the country, and as such it has garnered some cult following among history buffs.

Schor submitted his annual budget proposal to city council last week without including specific funding for repairs. It will be reviewed and could be amended before it is finalized in May. Visit mhpn.org/mpp to learn more about the Moores Park Pool or to donate to the Friends of Moores Park Pool. A copy of the 73-page assessment is available at lansingmi.gov.


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