RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
The swimming pool at Kapaolono Park in Kaimuki has been closed since August 2005, for what was supposed to be a six-month project. Work at the site, shown here yesterday, is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Kaimuki hopes pool drought will end soon
Delays could push its reopening back to the end of the year
Kaimuki residents will spend the summer without their neighborhood swimming pool for a second year.
Now residents are hoping the renovated Kapaolono swimming pool will open by the end of the year, 1 1/2 years behind schedule.
"I think somebody screwed up," said Kaimuki Neighborhood Board Chairman Mike Abe. "It's been under a tent for a year and a half."
Abe said residents who used the 25-meter pool for classes, Summer Fun programs and after-school activities have had to go elsewhere, such as the Palolo pool, or have gone without.
Seniors and children used the pool frequently for free swimming every afternoon, and surrounding schools would also use the pool for classes, he said.
Although it is not large -- about six lanes wide -- it was well used from morning to night, Abe said.
The pool, which closed in August 2005, was scheduled to reopen last April.
Anxious residents have been asking the city for answers for about a year, Abe said. "We're still looking for answers and a timetable on that."
"We're not getting a clear picture as to who's at fault and what needs to be done," he said.
Repairs planned for the pool include a renovated pool deck, toilets and walkways, and adding storage space to the area.
"Everyone is frustrated by the delays," Eugene Lee, director of the city Department of Design and Construction, said in an e-mail. He said the delays were caused by unforeseen conditions.
"We want to make sure the job is done right," he said.
The work was stalled when workers found a crack in the pool's cement base after the plaster lining was removed. An assessment of the structure's soundness had to be completed before tiles could begin to be laid.
Construction crews then found that the pool's bottom and sides were uneven, delaying the repair schedule another three months.
The tiling work is expected to resume shortly, and Lee said the work should be completed at the end of this year. The pool will be turned over to the Department of Parks and Recreation, which operates about 19 swimming pools, after repairs are finished.
Original construction costs for the pool were $762,000. An estimated $60,000 for the unexpected issues raised the total to about $822,000.
At least two other municipal pools are closed for repairs, Lee said.
The pools at Waipahu District Park and McCully District Park are closed for settlement problems and structural repairs, respectively, Lee said.
The McCully pool has been closed since mid-2005.
McCully resident Jonathan Sypert was playing basketball near the Kapaolono pool yesterday. He said the shuttered McCully pool attracts crime to the neighborhood.
"They need to get this one (Kapaolono) up and running if they don't want it to turn out like the facility in our area," he said.