Town Crier Articles

Pool News for This Season – and Beyond
Posted on May 1, 2021 7:00 AM by Jim Ducibella
There are big changes ahead for the swimming pool -- but most will occur after the 2021 swim season has concluded in September.
In the meantime, the pool is scheduled to open on Saturday May 29, Memorial Day weekend. Hours will be Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday and holidays from, 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. On Saturdays, the pool will be open from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Again this year there are numerous Covid-19 stipulations, outlined by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), that will be enforced similar to last season. Among other requirements, updated by the State on April 8, 2021, is that there be 10 feet of separation between households, and that occupancy is limited to 75 percent of capacity. Swimmers should maintain 10 feet of distance between other swimmers who are not family members.
Two lifeguards will be on duty each shift, one specifically focused on Covid-19 requirements: sign-in, ensuring forms are signed, maintaining documentation, and disinfecting areas. Although lifeguards will not take the temperature of pool guests, they will collect and review screening forms from guests unless it interferes with the lifeguard’s primary responsibilities.
Among the screening questions asked: 
  • Have you had a positive test for the virus that causes Covid-19 in the prior 10 days, or known exposure to a Covid-19 case in the previous 14 days?
  • Are you currently experiencing a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher, or a sense of having a fever? 
  • Do you have a new cough, shortness of breath or chills that cannot be connected to another health condition? 
  • Do you have any muscle aches that cannot be attributed to another health condition or specific activity such as physical exercise?
As far as the pool’s physical plant is concerned, you may have noticed that the water has been emptied. In preparation for the 2021 season, half of the frames and grates will be replaced as required by law. The remaining grates and frames won’t be done until after the season. 
The pool pergola is also being repaired. This involves power washing the structure and replacing some rotted joists. Most of the structure will be repainted, except for the new wood that must season. So if you see a half-painted pergola, don’t worry. In the Fall after the wood has seasoned, it will also be repainted.
Concrete is being added to replace the plantings closest to Roper Park within the pool area. The Landscape Advisory Committee recommended expanding the hardscape to provide more access for chairs and eliminate dying vegetation.  
After the upcoming season, a major pool renovation will be undertaken. Bids and contractor discussions are underway. The job is expected to cost in the neighborhood of $50,000. It includes, but is not restricted to, the resurfacing of the pool, recharging filters, cleaning and lubricating of push-pull valves, replacing four skimmers and recaulking the pool perimeter.
Finally, a contract will be signed with a pool company to do a winter servicing, including regular checks. This servicing will preclude the pool from being emptied and completely refilled at the beginning of each season, normally about a $3,000 expenditure.
Most of these expenses are covered by the NTRA Replacement Reserves. Originally planned for 2023, the pool renovation timetable was moved up based on inspections that revealed faster deterioration than predicted. Our community pool first opened in 2012 and hopefully its refurbishment will keep us swimming safely for years to come. 
Comment By: William Voliva
Posted on May 1, 2021 1:02 PM
Hopefully a "preventative maintenance" plan will be established to minimize such large expenditures every 10 years.