Norwin board told it needs to fix pool or replace it |

Norwin board told it needs to fix pool or replace it

Joe Napsha
Tribune-Review file photo
The Norwin School District needs to improve or replace its 50-year-old pool, according to an architect hired to evaluate the facility.

Norwin needs to either fix the high school swimming pool and amenities to make it safe and bring it up to current standards or replace it.

While the message was somewhat simple from Lancaster architect Edwin Wallover, who conducted a feasibility study of the pool, fixtures, equipment and building, the solutions for the school board remain complex.

Board members on Monday asked Wallover to provide some costs estimates for the proposed repairs, as well as the cost of replacing a pool that is about 50 years old. The news came as the board struggled over whether to approve a budget that raises taxes by 3% for the upcoming school year.

Wallover Architects Inc. was paid about $7,800 for the study and about $5,300 more would cover the cost of preparing estimates for the improvements and comparisons to a new pool.

Although the 42-foot-wide pool that is 75 feet long is “marginally undersized,” it remains in good working order through maintenance, said Wallover.

“I had no concerns I was looking at something that would fail tomorrow,” said Wallover, who noted the pool shell remains sound without water loss.

“There is plenty of potential for positive upgrades to this facility,” said Wallover, whose firm has worked on school pools at Connellsville, Upper St. Clair and Thomas Jefferson. The question for the board is, ”how much do you want to invest in a 50-year-old facility,” Wallover said.

Whatever the district does, it must make the swimming pool area comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which requires public facilities to have handicapped-accessible restrooms. There are handicapped-accessible restrooms just outside the swimming pool area that could serve that purpose, Wallover said.

At the minimum, the district must make the pool ADA-compliant, said Barb Viola, board president.

But, one of the problems Wallover found with the pool was the gutters that permit the accumulation of chloramines — chlorine that can bind to body waste and lead swimmers to experience asthma-like problems and eye irritations.

Among the deficiencies cited by Wallover were:

• Water is cloudy after being used, indicating better filtration needed

• Lighting is inadequate and tile is dated and eroded

• Interior pool finish shows signs of deteriorating re-bar and stained tiles

• Water seepage causing ceiling decay

• Pool pump is undersized and should be replaced with more powerful pump

• Spectator seating is inadequate

Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at 724-836-5252, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | Norwin | Westmoreland
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