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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Regulation compliance goes off the deep end for City Pool

Friday, June 3, 2011

The air is warm. The sun is hot. The water is inviting.

It is perfect recipe for everything and everyone to be all smiles after the opening week at the Greencastle Aquatic Center.

But that's not the case, thanks to a couple of situations beyond the control of the Park Board or the Aquatic Center staff.

Because of a national recall on certain pool drain covers and strict enforcement of pool accessibility rules under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), changes are already in place and more are on the horizon at the city pool.

"Between the drain covers and the ADA, the baby pool is done," Park Director Rod Weinschenk told the Greencastle Board of Park Commissioners during their regular monthly meeting Wednesday night at City Hall.

Whether the baby pool will ever be able to reopen seems doubtful.

Originally Wein-schenk believed the baby pool might only need to be closed until replacement parts were made available and properly installed.

That was also the initial assessment made by Bob Davis of Spear Corp., Roachdale, a pool expert who examined the baby pool/mushroom and the main pool after the recall alert was issued.

However, an ADA accessibility summary issued in February, requires such a sloped entry to provide access to even the shallow baby pool that it would be virtually impossible to redo either structurally and financially.

To create a sloped entry that would conform to ADA rules, Weinschenk said the pool deck would have to be torn out and redone. Cost estimates for that work are in the $10,000 range.

Another aspect of the ADA pool summary will require public pools to provide two means of handicapped-accessible entry to ensure that individuals with disabilities are able to enter pools safely.

"This is not a case of doing something to get around it," the park director said. "We have to do it or they will shut us down."

ADA compliance is necessary by March 15, 2012.

"Our goal is to get the main pool ready," Weinschenk said, explaining that a new sloped entry, possibly with a series of new handrails, will be necessary as well as a secondary access, most likely a lift apparatus.

The lift would be able to pick up handicapped individuals from the deck and use an arm apparatus to move them back over the water to allow safe entry. Greencastle High School has reportedly already decided on the lift solution to ADA accessibility at the pool in McAnally Center.

Both pool access projects are estimated in the $10,000 range for the city pool, meaning a necessary $20,000 expense just to make the popular facility ready for next summer's activity.

The main pool and waterslide area will not need to have their Lawson Aquatics brand drain covers replaced, Weinschenk said, because the size, spacing and piping at those locations prevent a large suction from being created.

The drain covers in question, such as those at the baby pool, are reported as "incorrectly rated to handle the flow of water through the cover, which could pose a possible entrapment hazard to swimmers and bathers," a U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission recall alert points out.

Other business conducted at City Park Board's June meeting will be included in a later story.


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Better sue to get that baby pool shut down, otherwise some kids MIGHT have some fun this summer.

Yes, its nice for the handicapped to have pool access, but how often is this an issue, given how long the pool has been open and running as is? Or, is this one ADA person with a mad-on for "fairness," even at the cost of everyone getting shafted this summer???

Also, how often is a handicapped person who needs special equipment to get in the pool at the pool alone, without SOMEONE who could otherwise help them in and out of that oh so steep wading pool???

-- Posted by stranded67 on Fri, Jun 3, 2011, at 9:14 AM

I understand the recalled drains issue but the ADA access to the baby pool? It's only at most a foot deep. Plus can't a disabeled person just use the main pool's ramp? Also why isn't there some grandfather clause in these regulations. I worked as a lifeguard at the pool for 5 years and never once did we have any issues with handicap access. What's next, are they going to have to redo the skate park because the ramps in there don't have the proper slope and handrails? In general the ADA is a good organization but this is just a stupid regulation.

-- Posted by hometownboy on Fri, Jun 3, 2011, at 10:06 AM

This is regulation at its worst and proof of why the government needs to get the hell out of our day to day lives. How many kids are going to sit around and smoke dope instead of getting exercise while the pool is closed...

-- Posted by anonymous101 on Fri, Jun 3, 2011, at 10:28 AM

The pool at Stardust Hills is closed this summer also. Hopefully the Association can get it fixed by next summer.

-- Posted by mlooper on Fri, Jun 3, 2011, at 2:34 PM

I agree the decision is plain stupid. I fully understand the Handicapped need access and want to do things but man be real. There is no money to fix the baby pool! If a new pool was being built then sure make it accessible. The do gooders would rather see the entire pool shut down than let parents help their child into the pool. The goverment is quickly getting out of control and seemingly INSANE!

-- Posted by Trying hard on Sat, Jun 4, 2011, at 6:49 PM

Just remember this when it's time to vote in the fall of 2012.

-- Posted by conffool on Wed, Jun 8, 2011, at 2:41 AM


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