GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — This summer, half of the Greensboro city outdoor pools will be closed. They are behind on maintenance projects that are needed to keep the pools safe and operational.
On Tuesday, the city council met to talk about preventing those kinds of issues in the future. Many council members said this is a reoccurring issue that the pool facilities are not being maintained.
Because of that, starting on Memorial Day, two pools will be open for the season, and two will stay closed. Those remaining closed will be Lindley and Peeler. Those are pools from the 60s and 70s that have been neglected for too long.
Short-term solutions are on the way with a price tag of $1.1 million in American Rescue Plan funds to repair Peeler and Lindley pools.
“It repairs and enhances within the pump room at Peeler as well as to the pool deck and shell,” said Phil Fleischmann, the Greensboro Parks and Recreation director. “Same at Lindley. There are issues in the pump room at Lindley within the structural integrity of the room as well as we recently discovered portions of the pool deck.”
But those are still in the design phase, and they won’t re-open until next summer. Until then, the city will offer transportation from the pools that are closed to the pools that are open, which is Warnersville and Windsor.
They will have extended hours this year as well. Pools will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. on weekends. And for the first time, they will be free to use.
“We believe, and our studies suggest that our fees are a barrier,” Fleischmann said. “Our pools are not a major revenue-generating enterprise for us. We are able to make up that revenue in other ways.”
Moving forward, the city wants to be better prepared. They have compiled an aquatics facility master plan which includes more than $50 million for renovating current swimming pools and spray grounds and more than $31 million for new aquatic facilities.
“It is a wish list that is still in draft form,” Fleischmann said.
There’s no money budgeted for these changes, but the Parks and Recreation Department says it is necessary.
“We see them as crucial community resources. It’s where our youth learn water safety skills, learn how to swim. These are locations that are accessible to households, and we want to see those continue as well,” Fleischmann said.
But council members had some concerns about asking voters for a bond referendum and maintaining all the upgrades.
“We have to have dollars in our budget to staff it and maintain it….so we have to balance…it would be nice to get bond money and start building, but if we don’t have the money to maintain them,” said District 5 Councilmember Tammi Thurm.
Those future plans are in the early stages. They will be taken to the Parks and Recreation Commission next month and then over to the council later this summer.