No joke, city pool reaches its capacity on holiday

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Remember the old Johnny Carson-Ed McMahon comedy set-up?

Carson would say something about it being hot, leaving an opening for sidekick McMahon to jump in and bellow, "How ... hot ... was it?"

"It was so hot," Carson would say, pausing for the audience to catch up, "that Burger King was singing, 'if you want it your way, cook it yourself.'"

Or something funny to that effect.

Well, it was so hot the other day that the Greencastle Aquatic Center ran out of room in the pool.

It was so hot the other day that the Greencastle Aquatic Center had customers standing in line in 100-degree heat, hoping someone else would leave.

No joke, for the first time in recent memory, the city pool reached its capacity of 642 people on Wednesday afternoon.

"That's something that has never happened in the 12 years I've been here, having 642 people in our pool at one time," Park Director Rod Weinschenk told the Greencastle Park Board during its 40-minute July meeting Thursday night at City Hall.

The sweltering Fourth of July heat, coupled with free holiday admission, certainly helped swell the crowd, which topped the 750 mark for the day, Weinschenk said.

"We were counting people as they left to let others in," he said, adding that those who wanted to leave for smoke breaks were warned they would go to the end of the line to return. Most chose the cool water over an infusion of nicotine.

Meanwhile, the big pool crowd also was good for concessions with receipts for the day totaling about $700, or about a dollar per person.

That was the good news at the city pool. There was bad news as well.

On Thursday morning, park officials discovered that the large commercial freezer in the concession stand had quit running, causing the pool to lose about $500 worth of food items.

A new freezer was expected to be delivered Friday and was expected to be installed and ready for use on Saturday, Weinschenk said.

The new commercial upright freezer was priced at $3,600, he said, noting that he conferred with City Clerk-Treasurer Lynda Dunbar and received her approval before ordering the new equipment.

Meanwhile, the outcome wasn't as good for the three-meter diving board. One of the eight bolts securing the base of the high dive stand to the concrete deck has broken loose.

Unfortunately, the other seven bolts are rusted in tight, Weinschenk said, making efforts to back out the broken bolt for replacement impossible.

The recommendation of Spear Corp., the pool experts from Roachdale, is to shut down the high dive, Weinschenk said, since the only way to repair it would be to dismantle the equipment and replace the base plate.

Unfortunately, he told the Park Board, the model is obsolete and a replacement base is not available.

The city could have someone construct a similar base plate to be installed, but that might create a potential liability issue, the park director suggested.

"We're probably looking at a new diving board," Weinschenk said, quoting a price of $23,000 for a replacement three-meter unit.

"So it won't be this summer," he added.

Meanwhile, Weinschenk also noted that regulations have changed and the current diving well depth of 12 feet, 4 inches may not be deep enough to accommodate the three-meter board. Spear Corp. will do official measuring, Weinschenk said.

"So we're probably looking at no three-meter board from now on," the park director reasoned.

Park Board members John Hennette, Tim Trigg, Kyle Kerrigan and Beva Miller were on hand for the July meeting, along with Weinschenk and Assistant Park Director Troy Scott.

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  • Hey Rod, maybe we need a bigger pool?!

    -- Posted by mgseamanjr on Sun, Jul 8, 2012, at 4:12 AM
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