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City Spending $760K to Demolish Pools, Improve Splash Parks

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Copyright 2013 Dayton Newspapers, Inc.

Dayton Daily News (Ohio)
October 12, 2013 Saturday
LOCAL & STATE; Pg. B1
373 words
City to raze 4 pools, improve splash parks;
Dayton once had seven outdoor pools.$545K contract for demolition, $215K to expand, upgrade OK'd.;
CONTINUING COVERAGE LOCAL IMPACT
By Jeremy P. Kelley

Dayton will demolish four abandoned city swimming pools and pool houses, including this one at Five Oaks Park, while beginning the process of upgrading its splash parks.

Dayton will demolish its four shuttered outdoor swimming pools, finishing the transition to splash parks as its primary outdoor aquatic attraction.

Dayton City Commission this week approved a $545,232 contract with Belgray Inc. to demolish the closed pools and pool houses at Burkham, Five Oaks, Mallory and Stuart Patterson Park.

The same contract includes $215,000 to expand and upgrade the Mc-Intosh Park splash park and $80,000 to begin smaller improvements at the Five Oaks, Mallory and Stuart Patterson splash parks.

Splash parks are small, zero-depth water play areas that spray water from colorful structures.

Joe Parlette, the city's director of recreation and youth services, said McIntosh Park, at Edwin C. Moses Boulevard and Riverview Avenue, will get new benches and water features and will grow in size by 50 percent. The city hopes to have the splash park open by Memorial Day 2014.

Parlette said this contract is the first step toward improvements at all seven splash parks.

"This part of the project includes McIntosh (improvements), plus infrastructure preparation for the upgrades at several other parks," he said.

The city once had seven outdoor swimming pools, but Parlette said six of them closed between 2004 and 2009, leaving the Fairview pool near Good Samaritan Hospital as the only outdoor option. The city has indoor pools at its three recreation centers.

The Westwood and Orville Wright outdoor pools were demolished as part of Dayton Public Schools' school construction project, and the remaining four will be demolished in the next year.

"Quite frankly, (pools) are just more costly to maintain and operate," Parlette said, citing staffing costs, water, chemicals and more. Parlette would not estimate a cost difference between pools and splash parks, except to say "it's a big number."

Dayton's seven splash parks are about 10 years old, and Parlette said some could use updated features.

"We're trying to get to the point where what we currently have is in great shape," he said.

Contact this reporter at 937-225-2278 or email Jeremy.Kelley@coxinc.com

October 12, 2013

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