Staff can no longer use closed McCully pool
McCully Recreation Center has been closed for more than a year due to construction, but in late June I noticed about 10 people regularly swimming in the pool there. I contacted the Parks Department and was told that it is a staff training for the Summer Fun program. If it is safe enough for that many staff members to swim, why can't the department make arrangements so that the public can use the pool safely? If there is a liability issue, isn't that the same with the summer fun staff members?
Answer: The "so-called staff-training swim sessions has ceased immediately," Dana Takahara-Dias, deputy director of the city Department of Parks and Recreation, told us last week.
The department was not aware that the pool was being used until we inquired about it, she said.
It will remain closed to the public during the current Phase I work on the recreation center and throughout Phase II, which entails reconstructing the pool.
"With the demolition of the bathrooms and the required facilities for the use for the pool, the pool cannot be used by the public," she said.
Meanwhile, the center's gymnasium remains closed as well.
A year ago ("Kokua Line," Aug. 11, 2005), we explained that major structural work was being done to the pool and gym "to rectify potential life safety hazards."
The gym initially was targeted to reopen last May, after the $1.18 million Phase I stage of the project was completed. Phase I entailed separating the gym from the pool, then reinforcing both to make each structurally sound.
However, the gym also remains closed because "unforeseen additional structural damage" was found, Takahara-Dias said.
At this point the Department of Design and Construction puts the expected opening of the gym at "mid-2007."
But there is still no target date as to when the pool will reopen to the public.
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