Renovations on the Haines swimming pool are taking longer than expected, delaying its reopening until mid-September.

Despite the delay, facilities superintendent Ed Bryant and director Brad Ryan say they are pleased with how the renovations are going. “Even if the pool is delayed, I believe this renovation does breathe life into the system,” Bryant said.

Last week, Bryant and Ryan led the CVN through a maze of construction to see the progress, describing a laundry list of replacements along the way: gutters, waterproof floors, railings and grab bars, lifeguard chairs, an ADA lift, shower drains and shower heads.

Replacing the pool’s aluminum gutters with stainless steel was the impetus for this summer’s $500,000 renovations. “We found pennies stuck to this thing,” Bryant said, holding up an aluminum gutter originally installed in the 1980s, mottled with white spots from nearly four decades of salt corrosion. The pool’s salt-chlorination system has eroded the gutters and caused them to fail twice, costing the borough more than $5,000 in yearly maintenance.

Unlike the gutters, Bryant said the swimming pool—a 1980 aluminum Chester pool—had no signs of corrosion at all. “That’s a good thing,” he said.

Partly, the delay is due to increased repairs that became apparent only after renovations began. “(The other repairs) were pretty obvious. It was just a matter of cutting into it,” said Ryan. 

The facilities department had known for some time that showers leaked through the floor into the school lockers below, but it wasn’t aware of the extent of the damage until the floor was jack-hammered out, said Bryant. When they unearthed the floor and the walls surrounding the shower, they found rotten wood and rusted drains—so the list of renovations grew longer. Now the locker room floors will be replaced with the same waterproof polyvinyl chloride (PVC) flooring as the pool.

As renovations continue, the facilities department is debating which water treatment system the pool will switch to: a chlorine system paired with an ultraviolet system (endorsed by USA Swimming, an agency that regulates competitive swimming) or Clear Comfort. The latter is an oxidation technology developed in 2014 in Colorado that claims to reduce the amount of chlorine used in pools. “Clear Comfort says they will offer a free trial,” Ryan said, “But we don’t know because it’s not a very widely used system. We just have to make sure there is no risk.”