Advertisement - Click to support our sponsors.

Wednesday, April 12, 2000

By Dennis Oda, Star-Bulletin
Work continues on the grounds of the natatorium, so
the parking area remains closed. But the facility will
open for services on Memorial Day.

Spruced-up natatorium
opens next month

The pool is unchanged, but the
facade, bleachers and restrooms
are nearly ready

By Gordon Y.K. Pang


The Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium is scheduled to reopen at the end of next month -- more than two months behind schedule but in time for Memorial Day services on May 29.

Changes to the $4.6 million project will make the structure, originally opened in 1929, "more functional," according to City Managing Director Ben Lee.

The changes include larger shower areas, change areas and space for lockers, he said.

And while the city has no plans to put in coin-operated lockers at the natatorium, an outside vendor has expressed interest, Lee said.

"Originally, there was no space for lockers and changing areas for beach-goers," he said. "Now, we have a much larger area with benches so people can change clothes."

The city also decided to go with plastic toilet stall partitions rather than metal ones, Lee said. The change order, the only one to date since the project began in September, added $85,000 to the total cost of renovations, he said.

But the actual amount expended with contractor Healy Tibbits is about $4.4 million, still under the $4.6 million budgeted.

"The project is within budget," Lee said.

Other changes are being considered, he said, but those may not happen since the city wants to open the facility on May 29.

Exactly how far the project is behind schedule is not clear. Mayor Jeremy Harris estimated last summer that it would take "less than six months." When the project began in early September, contractor Healy Tibbits said it would be done by December. And in December, the administration told the Star-Bulletin the work would be done by February.

Besides the locker area and restrooms, renovations include restoring the facade, arches and bleachers of the structure.

Harris' original plan called for restoration of the pool in addition to the land-based work, at a total cost of $10.85 million.

But court action brought by the Kaimana Beach Coalition against the project is forcing the city to await Health Department rules pertaining to saltwater pools. In addition, City Council leaders have said they will not approve more funding.

The natatorium was shut down by the Health Department in 1979.

E-mail to City Desk

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2000 Honolulu Star-Bulletin