Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Los Banos pool close to reopening


A month and a half after city aquatic officials closed Santa Barbara’s main community pool to fix a persistently leaky wall, workers started putting the finishing touches on the project with a full replastering of the pool’s surface.
Twenty men armed with hand trowels and sponges scattered across the empty Los Banos del Mar Pool on Tuesday morning, each aiding in various stages of the plaster smoothing process.

Rich Hanna, the city’s aquatic recreation supervisor, said work was proceeding as planned and the pool should be filled with water soon.
“I couldn’t be happier,” he said. “I’m just itching to get everyone back in there.”
With plastering expected to be finished Tuesday afternoon, Hanna said the pool will be filled and the plaster will finish curing underwater — a two-week process.
With the final stage of the project underway, Hanna said the pool is tentatively scheduled to open ahead of schedule, although he emphasized that things can still change in the coming days.
“As long as the water gets in there and everything goes the way it’s supposed to … we might be able to open a week early,” he said.
Officials closed the swim tank in late June to replace the deep-end wall, which had sprung a stubborn leak.
Between a major remodel of the pool in 1995 and a renovation of the locker room facilities three years later, water had started leaking through the wall into the pump room.
After five different attempts to fix the problem with a variety of methods, city officials decided to close down the pool and replace the wall before it became a serious concern.
With major construction already planned for the deep end, leaders also decided to replaster the entire pool, a process typically done every 10 years.
Workers had already neared the halfway mark by noon on Tuesday, pouring the plaster material around tile lane markers installed a week ago. Using wide sweeping motions, the crew of men slowly smoothed out the surface.
In the deep end, where plaster had already started to harden, workers in their socks scrubbed the tile areas clean and smoothed out any minor imperfections.
Once plastering is complete, workers will start the long process of filling the 50-meter pool — a task that takes 15 hours.
“So far, everything is going well down there,” Hanna said.
He said after weeks of using other pools around town, including those at local high schools, swimmers are eager to get back to the seaside swim tank.
“The fact that the project is on schedule right now, there is a little more buzz going on,” he said.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It’s great that they are doing repairs on the historic community pool. What a treasure. It would be a wonderful thing if SBCC could have one up on campus too.

The sad thing is all of the, so called, Improvements slated for the waterfront from the wharf to sea landing. IMO, there’s no need for more red tile and white stucco on the beach. No need for brick walkways. No need to make it more tourists friendly. Its fine the way it is. Fix the broken side walks and remove the asphalt that the city workers put in place. Easy fix. Save MILLIONS. The beach, the view, the natural beauty is the focus, not council embers legacy’s.