Tuesday, Aug 09th

Residents to be Surveyed About the Future of the Scarsdale Pool

ScarsdalePoolWhat is the status on the renovation of the Scarsdale Pool Complex? And what is the vision for the next iteration of Scarsdale's aquatic center? Architects Lothrop Associates presented their findings of the existing pool conditions and plans to survey and engage with the community to assess views at a work session of the Village Board on April 26, 2022.

Their inventory of the existing facility found that many features of the current complex are deteriorated, outdated, non-compliant with current health and safety regulations and inefficient. The pool equipment, the locker rooms, facilities and even the pool depths require substantial updating and replacement.

The report explains, “At over 50 years old, the pools at the Complex have reached their expected service life. There are structural failures with the concrete pools, failures of the underground piping between them, and an obsolete hydraulic filtration system. It is also known that building and sanitary codes have developed and expanded significantly during the lifetime of the pool complex. While upgrades to meet current codes do not always apply to existing facilities retroactively, pool water hygiene standards will be required to comply with current health code requirements. Furthermore, compliance with current codes and standards can yield significant hygienic, life safety, and operational cost benefits.”

Furthermore the facility does not meet accessibility standards as outlined in NYS building code.

Long story short, the architects outlined cost estimates in three categories as illustrated below.

They provided estimates to address the risk of safety or damage, code compliance and operations and maintenance costs. All told, they estimate that it would cost $13.2 mm to simply replace the current pools and facilities, without adding any enhancements or special features.

Take a look at a detailed report on the pool fencing, barriers, pool decks, pool vessels, pool depths and more here.

There is almost nothing that does not require attention. The pool equipment needs to be replaced. Currently all four pools have only one drain each while current code requires two drains in each pool. The overflow gutter systems are cracked and need to be replaced and the intermediate pool wall needs to be leveled. The main pool and diving pool share a pool pump and each needs a dedicated pump. The same applies to the intermediate pool and wading pool. The filter tanks for all four pools are 30 years old and need new filters. The report found that the underground cast iron pool piping is corroding and is not code compliant.

And the problems don’t end with the pool itself. The locker room, doors and roof are in serious need of renovation or replacement. The facilities are not code compliant and do not meet accessibility standards. The facilities are also not adequate for the current pool users and 13 additional toilets are required in the women’s locker room.

Problems continue into the concession building where walls are cracked, new doors are needed, the roof needs work, the floor requires replacement along with the ceiling, lights and countertops.

The list goes on -- Read more details here.

What to do?

As part of the process, Lothrop is working with Ballard and King to assess the market, demographics and potential users for a new pool complex. What is the extent of interest within the community for the pool and what features would users like to see?

Can the pool continue to be self- sustaining? According to the report, “The median income in the secondary service area is higher than both the state and national figures, with the income level in the Village being close to triple those figures. The income level in the Village creates a unique opportunity for a seasonal pool to capture 100% of its operating expenses. However, the Village pool complex needs to differentiate itself within the market so that they can continue its enterprise fund operating philosophy and supporting rate structure.”

And who will use the pool? Of the Village’s total population of 18,344 the largest age groups are children ages 5-17 and adults ages charles cook memorial pool cortlandt manorCharles Cook Memorial Pool in Cortlandt Manor45-64. So a pool update should offer features to attract people in these age groups.

Why do people come to the pool complex? The research finds that the vast majority of people come to the pool for the social aspect:

4% look for organized activities
20% want organized and recreational
76% recreational only

If the Village does decide to enhance the pool complex, the consultants identified some features and activities that might be included:

-For leisure and recreation, the complex could include “leisure pools with zero-depth entry, warm water, play apparatus, slides, seating areas and deck space.”

-Instructional programming in “Reasonably warm water, shallow depth with deeper water (4 ft. or more), and open expanses of water.”

-Fitness programming, aqua exercise classes, lap swimming.

-Therapy in warm, shallow water for therapy and rehabilitation

-Social/relaxation in natural landscapes

-Special events/rentals for birthdays, corporate events, community organization functions and rentals to outside groups to generate additional revenues.

What do residents want to see at the pool? Slides, a lazy river and water features? Upgraded dining options, classes or upgraded seating?

In order to assess community opinion, a survey will be issued both in print and online. A random group of 2,000 households will receive a survey in the mail to be completed in writing or online. The online survey will open on May 30, 2022. Survey findings are expected to be reported in July 2022. The Village will use their outreach to support survey response.

Also planned are community engagement sessions on a Friday and Saturday in early June.

During public comments, two residents spoke in support of repairing and maintaining the Scarsdale Pool.

Michelle Lichtenberg of Greenacres Avenue said, "The pool is such an important asset. I remember when we first moved here on July 3 and we were at the pool July 5. I heard rumors that people thought the pool was not interesting any more – it is! There is nothing more lovely than the Scarsdale pool. Is it aging? Yes! Does it need improvement? Yes! Is it an asset, Yes!"

Susan Ross of Ardmore Road said, "The pool and the schools were a factor when we decided to move to Scarsdale over many other lovely towns in Westchester. And now that my kids are grown, I still enjoy the lap pool and seeing friends there. There is nothing like our lap pool. It would be irresponsible to let this valuable asset slip away."

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