Engineering firm Clark Patterson Lee [CPL] anticipates the Delano-Hitch Aquatic Center and Pool to be finally completed by Memorial Day Weekend of 2025.
The current pool site at the park features the existing pool and waterslide combination, additional side parking lot and check in building with changing facilities. CPL had appeared before the city council in June with the proposals of splash pads and varying pool construction and amenities.
Previous conversations with the city council and CPL were in regards to the pool size. One option was to have a pool similar in size to the one at Newburgh Free Academy or an Olympic-sized pool.
CPL Engineers returned before the city council on Thursday, September 8, with a revised master plan for the pool site that now features a community-sized pool with proposed starting blocks along with a new multi-use building with locker rooms, restrooms, concession stand, equipment and storage rooms and additional office space.
CPL also presented to the city council their drafted timeline for the proposed pool project. According to the presented CPL schedule, in 2022, CPL has planned to seek project approval in September. In the first half of October, contracts with the engineers would be signed. In the later part of October, CPL would start their design process. Also in mid-October, design meetings with the city council and the recreation department would be underway and go through till December 2022.
Heading into 2023, CPL would still be in their design phase and would have a site design completed by June 2023. Starting back in April, CPL had planned to seek Health Department Review and Approval. These health department approvals would not be completed until July.
In July, the bidding process for the pool would begin, and then in August 2023 the city would undergo the approval process for the contracts for the work. Starting in September 2023, construction would begin and be completed by Memorial Day weekend of 2025. In November 2023, several equipment orders would be done by CPL and are to be completed by October 2024.
The entire year of 2024 would be devoted to construction, along with the equipment orders previously mentioned. Starting March 2025, the equipment for the pool would be started up along with additional testing and training on the equipment. This startup and testing and all construction would be completed by Memorial Day 2025.
Following the CPL presentation, city council members offered their comments on the presentation and the pool update. Several comments expressed were of concern and frustration due to the timeline proposed by CPL. Council members also requested to see if the timeline could be amended for a faster completion time.
“Of course, I was pushing for an Olympic-sized pool, however I do understand,” said Councilman Anthony Grice. “Fixing this pool is important.”
Councilwoman Giselle Martinez addressed CPL’s previous comments and presentation which had come before council and indicated having this pool facility opened by 2024. Now with the timeline seeing completion by 2025, residents will again have to wait for the pool to be opened.
“I want to make sure that they [community members] have a place where they can cool down. Like Councilmember Grice, I would have loved an Olympic sized pool,” said Martinez. “Our residents have been waiting. This summer, our residents did not have a pool. They didn’t have, you know, access to it and this is something that’s very important to our community.”
Councilwoman Ramona Monteverde concurred with Grice’s comments on releasing renderings on the proposed locker room and other related facilities, but was not satisfied with the proposed timeline
“I have to say it’s ridiculous that we have to wait until 2025. We’ve gotten a lot of pushback with regard to that pool,” said Monteverde. “The community has been waiting a long time.”
Monteverde followed up with a question for CPL about the possibility of conducting demolition to the site sooner than projected so that the pool could have a faster completion time.
City Engineer Jason Morris addressed Monteverde’s question about demolition. “We can’t proceed with demolition before we proceed with the environmental portion of the testing on the existing structure,” said Morris. “So we have to make sure there’s no lead and asbestos in the existing pool.”
According to Morris, CPL and the city are working on contracts for the site design, and the possibility of including environmental testing in the contract can help with the completion time.
Councilman Omari Shakur offered suggestions on the mixed use facility at the site to see if CPL could rearrange certain areas to make the pool more accessible to families and mothers with younger children. Councilman Robert Sklarz concurred with his fellow council members about the timeline and requested that the timeline and additional plans should be made available to the public during this process. Councilwoman Patricia Sofokles also wanted to see amendments to the timeline and expressed support for the current design.
Mayor Torrance Harvey was not satisfied with the timeline. The mayor said he had recently received strong verbal criticism from community members over the pool situation.
“This timeline is unacceptable. Every time you [CPL] guys come before our council, you keep pushing the timeline back and back and back. Maybe this firm is not the right firm,” Harvey said.