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Copyright 2013 Union Leader Corp.
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The Union Leader (Manchester, NH)
October 22, 2013 Tuesday
2B; Pg. 9
379 words
Report: Claremont public pool not worth repairing
Ed Flaherty

CLAREMONT -- The full report about the John McClane Clark Outdoor Pool at Veterans Park confirms repairs are not worth the money, according to a firm hired to look at the pool.

The Boston-based Bargmann Hendrie + Archetype, Inc. said in its report released last week that an investment of about $460,000 in order to reopen the pool and bathhouse would not be an effective use of funds.

"The work would reopen a pool that has been available to the city for decades; however, the repairs do not provide a long-term solution to the continued high maintenance costs associated with operating the pool, or provide a permanent fix to the pool tank. As we noted ... the problems that exist today existed in 1994. This also does not address the bathhouse needs for programmatic, permanent structural repairs, and full compliance for individuals with disabilities," the report said.

The city had planned to demolish the pool earlier this year but residents opposed the demolition and petitioned the city against it.

BH+A said the pause to study the issue has been beneficial to the city.

"Saving this pool from demolition provided the city with a valuable starting point for renovating and creating a new aquatic facility," said Bargmann Hendrie + Archetype.

City Manager Guy Santagate said Monday it had been his administration's recommendation a year ago to demolish the pool.

"It's lived it's useful life and we've got an indoor pool," he said.

Some residents in the area didn't want it demolished, though, he said.

It is now up to the city council to review the study and make a decision, he said.

"It's an expensive proposition," Santagate said of renovating the outdoor pool.

Built in the 1950s, the outdoor pool was last renovated in the 1970s. It was closed two summers ago because the large amounts of water leaking made properly chlorinating the pool difficult, creating a potential public health issue. The 35-year-old gutter system appears to be the source of the pool leaks.

The Claremont Parks and Recreation Department had supported the demolition and proposed a $250,000 outdoor splash park to replace it.

The community has an indoor pool at the recently opened Claremont Savings Bank Community Center.

The John McLane Clark Outdoor Pool was only opened eight weeks out of the year.

October 24, 2013

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