Update: Council voted to approve the additional $500,000 for the Burnet Park Pool.
SYRACUSE, NY – Franklin Roosevelt was still president the year the swimming pool at Burnet Park opened.
Now, 84 years later, that pool will cost $1.3 million to repair — 60% more than originally estimated — because the pool’s foundation is in such poor condition, park officials said.
City Parks Commissioner Julie LaFave is asking the Common Council to approve the issuance of $500,000 in federal stimulus funds to repair the Burnet Park pool. This is in addition to the $800,000 already approved.
But Burnet isn’t the only city bath in dire need of repair. All of the city’s eight outdoor pools will need major renovations in the coming years, LaFave said.
The pools are old. Those at Thornden and McKinley Parks are each approaching their 100th birthdays. Even the newest pools at Kirk and Wilson parks were built decades ago.
The city has planned to repair Burnet Park Pool for several years since an initial grant came in 2015. The pool was extensively remodeled from 1977 to 1980 but has not been improved since. When work began last year, contractors found the walls and concrete were deteriorating much more than expected, LaFave said.
That left the city with a partially completed project and not enough money to complete the work, she said.
Despite frequent patches and pool improvement projects, all of their bowls have far exceeded their usual lifespans, which are around 25 to 30 years, LaFave said. Some of the pools have mechanical issues, while others have more structural needs.
Your department is working on a large-scale capital improvement plan. LaFave said she didn’t know how much all of those improvements would cost.
“The first step would be hiring a professional to do a full structural and mechanical assessment and make sure everything is tested so we can prioritize which are in the worst shape and which require the most dollars,” she said.
The council will vote today on the issuance of the additional $500,000.
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