Percy Walker Pool Needs $1 Million in Repairs
- Written by Administrator
The consultant, Dan Meus, of the architectural company Graham and Meus of Boston, was hired to perform a conditions assessment of the pool after Annual Town Meeting 2006 approved $15,000 for this report. Town Meeting also supported creating a long-range planning committee to develop a master plan of improvements for the building, which was given to the town by anonymous donors in 1976.
Meus was enthusiastic about Duxbury's only public indoor pool, which is used by over 110,000 people annually.
"It's a great building," said Meus. "It just needs modernizing, updating and repairs."
The exterior of the pool received high marks from Meus. His report said it was an "excellent example of the modern architectural style," and was designed by Johnson Hotvedt Associates, who also designed the Science Museum in Boston. Meus rated the pool's foundation, superstructure and roof construction as "good". The building's exterior envelope earned an overall "good" rating, however, exterior doors, windows and the roof needed replacement, he said.
Inside the pool was a different story. While there were some areas that received high marks, such as the tile floors and walls and the pool's structure - with no leaks or missing tiles - and its water quality, Meus found fault with most areas. Many important aspects of the pool's mechanical systems are badly corroding. Meus showed pictures of corrosion on the electrical panel, on radiators and ductwork and around the outdated electrical transformer. He said all the electrical systems are rusting as are the interior doors.
"It's bad," Meus said of the heating/ventilation and electrical systems.
The building's entire heating system is in need of replacement, said Meus, who also recommended replacing the pool's main pump motors, which need frequent repair to keep them running well.
"Any renovations and updating will be an appropriate investment in extending the life of the building for another 25-30 years," stated Meus in the report.
Renovating the pool without making any changes to it would cost $1.06 million. This figure includes new exterior windows and doors, a new roof, new interior doors and partitions, as well as all new plumbing, heating, cooling, fire protection and electrical systems. The pool would get a complete makeover as the floors and walls would be painted and repaired and new lighting would be installed. A new pool motor would also be installed.
However, under this renovation plan nothing would be done to the outdated locker rooms. One issue the pool committee has stressed is the need for family changing rooms. In his report, Meus showed a second proposal that would completely renovate the locker rooms to include two family changing rooms, which would have a sink, toilet and shower in one enclosed room with direct access to the pool. The locker rooms would be receive a "gut renovation, including new walls, finishes and lighting," stated the report.
Plans for the new locker rooms show the placement of the men's and women's lockers switching sides of the building, with the men's on the right side. The "gang showers" in each locker room would be replaced with seven individual stall showers and each locker room would have adequate toilets and changing areas.
The cost of the new locker rooms and a new bank of windows on the south side of the pool would be $630,270, making the entire renovation and upgrade project total almost $1.7 million.
Selectmen were pleased with the Meus' report.
Selectmen Chairman Andre Martecchini, who regularly uses the pool, called the report "a good start" and said the next step would be to submit an article for the Annual Town Meeting in March 2008 to fund design costs.
Selectman John Witten wondered if the town could use Community Preservation Act funds to pay for the pool renovations. The other selectmen did not think this was possible, but agreed to ask Duxbury's town counsel for a legal opinion on it. Recreation Director Gordon Cushing, who was supportive of the report, said he had heard that there might be proposed changes to the Community Preservation Act to allow projects like the pool upgrades to be funded with CPA money.