Summer is here, and the day has finally come that Mt. Lebanon has a newly renovated pool for residents to enjoy!
The process was lengthy but certainly worth the wait. Long before the current commission was in place, the 2007 commission first voted to do a feasibility study for a brand new “Family Aquatic Center.” Back then, a variety of options were considered that fell into the $7 million to $10 million range. In 2008, the commission decided to audit the condition of the existing pool. Inspection of the pool tank suggested that the pool itself was in good condition. As a result, the commission eventually concluded that a less expensive option of renovating the existing pool would be more cost-effective with similar benefits.
By November 2012, the commission passed a bond issue for the renovation. We were well on our way to making this longtime municipal goal a reality. EPM Architecture was hired to assist us in the design process and general management of the project.
Needless to say, this $4.2 million project has been extensive, and we are delighted to now provide not only a pool facility that is one of the finest in the region, but also is an important community gathering place and recreational asset. The entire pool’s infrastructure from top to bottom has been replaced, including plumbing, filtration and gutters, sandblasting and repainting. It also boasts a new painted glass curtain, roof, HVAC system, and electrical system.
However, the new pool offers much more. A 50-by-60 foot zero beach-entry leisure pool provides a gentle slope that facilitates easy access for anyone with mobility issues. And the leisure pool is an appropriate depth for any child learning to swim.
Speaking of children, a host of fun and interactive spray features, a dual slide tower, poolside climbing wall and diving board will offer hours of fun. In addition, adults will surely love the new deck and shade structures, as well as improved lighting and PA system. Moreover, lap swimmers and the Aqua Club can still enjoy the 50-meter-by-25-yard main pool, which was maintained in the renovation. Perhaps the most exciting new feature for all of those (very chilly) early morning swim lessons is that the pool is now heated! No more shivering and chattering teeth! The pool’s temperature can now be modified to provide comfort and enjoyment.
Aside from the pool itself, residents can (finally) enjoy a modern bath house and a new snack bar. The bath house features an open-air corridor through the center of the building—no more funneling into the changing rooms upon entry unless you need to change. In addition, there are now more private changing areas, new larger lockers, new restrooms and two dedicated family changing rooms.
Large projects such as this often face some bumps in the road, and this one was no different. While we did face some challenges such as the extremely harsh winter and very wet spring, as well as a number of necessary change orders, consistency and commitment was maintained throughout every phase of the project. We could not have completed this project without the help of the entire team: architect Mark Edelmann, Gateway Engineers and Wade Associates, as well as a number of contractors including DiMarco Construction, Bronder Electric, R&B Mechanical, Vrabel Plumbing and Chester Pools.
I would be remiss if I did not mention a very special key player in this project who provided excellent insight and leadership in making this project a reality, and that is our Recreation Director, David Donnellan. David’s dedication and commitment to the Family Aquatic Center project has been truly unsurpassed. Countless hours were devoted to making this community asset the best it could be, and for that, we are immensely grateful to Mr. Donnellan and his entire team.
On behalf of the commission, I wish each and every resident a safe and enjoyable summer.