Columbia Pool Splash Extension – Turlock Journal
Kids and families in Turlock hoping to jump into Columbia Pool this summer will need to find other waters to cool off in, as the pool renovation will take longer than expected and cost more than double.
The 64-year-old pool in the west of town has been closed since the summer of 2019 due to 18 safety breaches.
Turlock Planning Division staff were instructed to begin preparing rehab plans for the Columbia Pool in July 2021. After that, city staff received information from Stanislaus County Environmental Health that the pool should be brought up to current health and building codes. The council approved a $1.8 million renovation last year to correct required safety violations, including removing a wall that divided the main pool and the children’s pool. However, since that time, more and more security issues have risen.
“In December, staff were advised that the current filtration system would not meet current standards based on the size of the pool,” said Assistant Director of Development Services and Head of Planning Katie Quintero. “With these changes needed to bring the pool up to current code; the rehabilitation of the swimming pool described in the option chosen by the council in July is not feasible.
According to Quintero, the pool’s main pump also stopped working, causing maintenance staff to spend a lot of time manually chlorinating the pool. The town planning division is now looking to replace the swimming pool, instead of rehabilitating it.
“Staff are also requesting permission to begin demolition of the facilities so that we don’t have to continue with the maintenance we are currently doing,” Quintero said.
City staff recommended a non-competitive pool of the same size, with a code-compliant filtration system, a pool heater, a new deck around the pool, the addition of a new restroom building, and the provision of additional areas for shade and seating.
The initial $1.8 million project is now expected to grow to over $4.4 million.
The Board approved 4-1 (with Board Member Andrew Nosrati dissenting) to appropriate $2,481,545 of Cannabis Pilot Program funds and $3 million of American Rescue Plan Act funds for design and the construction of the new swimming pool.
The new direction of the pool project has been taken in the form of a change order under the current contract with O’Dell Engineering. Councilor Nicole Larson asked if it would be appropriate to review the master plan and start over with a new tendering process for contractors. Quintero said if that were to be the case, she wasn’t sure the pool would be ready next summer.