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Preparing pool

Peterborough's renovated Adams Pool to open in June

Union Leader Correspondent

May 14. 2013 8:53PM
On Friday the underground infrastructure for a new splash pad at Adams Pool in Peterborough is ready for the above-ground installations. (MEGHAN PIERCE PHOTO)

PETERBOROUGH — The renovation of Adams Pool and the addition of a splash pad is expected to be completed on time and ready to open on the last day of school, June 14.

Residents, though, better have their wallets handy since admission to the pool is no longer free for town residents.

"The last day of school is June 14 so we are planning our last day of school pool party that day," said recreation director Jeff King on Tuesday.

A one-day pool/splash pad admission is $1 for residents, $5 for non-residents. A season pass for residents is $10 per person and $40 per family. The price for a season pass for a non-resident family is $150.

The $1.2 million project was "pretty much a complete overhaul" of the Depression era- built pool, King said.

It also includes the addition of a slide and a splash pad, which is a play area where water would be sprayed from fountain-like installations. Since the splash pad is designed to have no standing water it is safe for young children who don't know how to swim yet, King said.

These are additions that make the pool more attractive, but the main reason the project was undertaken was to renovate the pool, built in the 1930s, so that it could last for years to come.

The concrete gutters were removed and replaced with new stainless steel gutters, the main drain system was taken out and a new one meeting new federal regulations was installed.

"The new drain meets the Virginia Graeme Baker act," King said.

The federally mandated Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act took effect in 2008 and aims to eliminate suction entrapment incidents.

The new gutters allow the pool to be six inches deeper, which means that when the Peterborough Wave Club is practicing or holding meets at the pool, swimmers turning and pushing off in the shallow end will no longer scrape the bottom.

"So they won't be skinning their knees on the pool floor when they are turning around. It will be six inches deeper," he said.

Swimmers will also be able to use the diving board for diving again. The town's insurance company prohibited all but feet first jumps from the diving board for the past few years because of the depth of the pool and the length of the diving board.

Since the pool will be six inches deeper and the diving board is shorter, the insurance company's fears of divers hitting the bottom of the deep end are appeased.

Since the original construction of the pool had been federally funded through Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal Works Project Administration, the town could not keep the pool exclusively for resident use, but opened the pool to residents for free and charged non-residents admission.

King said it was a tough decision, but a split vote by the Budget Committee and Select Board decided earlier this year that there would be charges for one-day and season passes for residents and increased charges for non-residents.

The Recreation Committee unanimously opposed charging residents.

"We voted it unanimously that we didn't want it that way," said Tina Kriebel, Recreation Committee member.

The committee was told it had to pay for added maintenance and staffing costs of about $22,500, she said.

King said the pool is going to require an additional lifeguard — four instead of three — and additional bathhouse attendants to monitor the splash pad. The cost of chlorine and water is unknown at this point, but is expected to be increased, he said.

The outdoor pool's season is only about 60 days long.

"I felt like the townspeople had already paid for the pool through the bond, so that was kind of my take on it. I support the fact that there will be hardship scholarships for families and kids where there is a hardship because there has to be equal access," Kriebel said.

King said the members of the Budget Committee and Select Board that supported charging residents felt the town taxpayers had already shared the cost of the project and the cost of the increased maintenance and staffing costs should be borne at least in part by pool users.

"I think the Budget Committee and the Selectmen wanted to protect the taxpayers as much as possible," he said.

The pool is set to open at 1 p.m. on June 14 following a ribbon cutting ceremony at noon.

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