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North Shore Pool to close Friday for month of repairs

Its programs will be shifted to nearby pools during the facility's second close in less than a year.

By NICK BIRDSONG
Published July 27, 2005


ST. PETERSBURG - For the second time in less than a year, North Shore Pool will be closing.

The pool will officially close at the end of operation hours Friday, until its scheduled reopening on Aug. 29, while contractors put the finishing touches on improvements to the pool that began in late October.

The pool will be off-limits to everyone after a swim meet concludes this weekend.

The pool's programs will be shifted to one of three community pools, Fossil Park Pool on Ninth Street N, Northwest Pool at 5801 22nd Ave. N and Shore Acres Pool at 4142 Shore Acres Blvd. NE, said North Shore Recreation II Supervisor Mario Abadal.

On Oct. 30, 2004, the pool shut down for two months while the 164.5-foot structure was relined and a new finish and tile were put in. Back then, city recreation manager Gretchen Tenbrock said the new composite material that replaced the old vinyl lining was more durable and "should last 20 to 25 years."

The lining has been holding up fine, but the warranty on the workmanship and labor by SNS Pools on the cracking tile, beams and expansion joints runs out at the end of the year, Abadal said.

City officials had to scramble to coordinate a date of repair that wouldn't interfere for too long with the opening of Pinellas County schools on Aug. 3.

"We had discussed what would be the best time to do the warranty work and would have the least impact," Abadal said. "Generally speaking, it's not uncommon to have a few things that need to be addressed following the completion of the work."

Abadal said the contractors have been given three weeks to finish the job. The job, which includes repairing the failing tiles, beams and expansion joints, will require contractors to drain the pool, he said.

Abadal said late summer works best. Had the repairs been made in the winter, things could have gotten even more complicated, he said.

"If it were done later in the year when the temperature is cooler, the water temperature becomes cooler," Abadal said. While the city does have some heated pools, it would have been "more difficult to transfer these programs."

In the meantime, nearly all of North Shore's programs will be shifted to the smaller Fossil Park Pool. The Swim to Stay Fit and the instructional Stroke Technique programs will be shifted to the Northwest Pool about 6 miles away. And Shorecrest Preparatory School will hold its practices at Shore Acres Pool, closer to its campus at 5101 First St. NE.

"I'm not going to lie and say it's not an inconvenience, because it is an inconvenience," Abadal said. "But unfortunately, we don't have any other options. We need the repairs done.

"I'm sure the patrons would agree that they would rather have somewhere to swim," he said, "rather than nowhere at all."

[Last modified July 27, 2005, 01:05:14]


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