Westbook explores plan for outdoor pool at community center

Westbrook City Council is conducting a feasibility study to see if building an outdoor pool at the community center is a viable plan.

The city may build a new swimming pool at the community center while considering other aquatic features at the recreation center, shown here. File photo

The pool at the Cornelia Warren Outdoor Recreation Complex at 489 Main Street was closed in 2020 due to the pandemic, but never reopened due to poor condition, including cracks in the foundation. The city considered a number of places it could be moved to, including a location off Foster Street and has previously considered keeping it in the same location.

Community center manager Greg Post has previously said the 426 Bridge St. location would be a good site, due to the flat terrain, proximity to a number of services, and the fact that staff at the Neighboring indoor pool also works at the outdoor pool.

If the community center is not functioning, Foster Street near Main Street near the river is considered an alternate location.

The city has also floated the idea of ​​a possible year-round indoor/outdoor hybrid pool, which the feasibility study could look into.

“We suggested, while doing due diligence, that we consider funding a pool that can be used 12 months out of the year instead of just 10-12 weeks,” Post previously said.

The study for the location of the community center would include a contract with SW Cole of Gray for geotechnical test drilling, capped at $15,000, and a $15,000 contract with Haley Ward of Bangor to design the swimming pool. It would be funded by a block grant of $20,000 and $10,000 in municipal funds.

“This work will determine the feasibility of locating the outdoor pool there and what such a facility might look like if built,” according to city documents.

The leisure complex is being renovated, but the location would still not be suitable for a swimming pool, officials said, due to hills and uneven terrain that caused foundations to crack and water to leak.

Councilor Gary Raidon said on Monday that although he had heard many people request that the pool remain in the park, it is not profitable and would not last for more than half a dozen years or so before critical repairs are needed.

“SSometimes it’s hard to say OK, we goI receive rid of the pool there,” Raidon said. “We will always have a swimming pool in the town, and I think looking at the community center, with the after day care, it’s a hub where a lot of people go. Pspending $2 million to buy us (a pool in the original park for) six years is not feasible.”

Last year, the city floated the idea of ​​removing the pool and replacing it with a kiddy pool, but public outcry led officials to build a public pool somewhere in Westbrook.

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Jill E. Washington