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.