MARBLE FALLS — The Marble Falls city pool won’t open Memorial Day weekend — May 28-30 — after all.
That’s the word from Parks and Recreation Director Robert Moss after he was told the pool is being re-plastered during the weekend.
Officials had hoped to have the pool in Lakeside Park, 306 Buena Vista Drive, open May 28 in time for the summer release from area schools and to coincide with the holiday weekend.
No new opening date has been announced.
"They can’t get a crew together until this weekend," Moss said. "They’ll plaster this weekend. Since it is such a large job, my understanding is (that) when a pool is plastered, it all has to be at once. It can’t be done in several days."
The contractor is having to "round up several plastering crews from different companies so they can all come in at once," Moss added.
Watch the city’s website at www.ci.marble-falls.tx.us for an announcement about when the pool is ready, he added.
The pool originally was drained for basic maintenance work including an acid bath. But when a Parks and Recreation crew took a closer look, they discovered the plaster wasn’t holding, Moss said.
"And part of that re-plastering is to remove the old," Moss said. "What we found when the crew went in is in some cases we’re removing four layers of plaster. So it’s been probably original and three other layers on top of that that’s being removed. And it’s taking a little bit longer and it’s a bigger job than what we had anticipated. When we do get it completed, it’ll have all new plaster."
In addition, the pool will include new swimming lanes for the Marble Falls Tsunami swimming team, the director said.
"We did not realize until we broke all the layers of plaster out, (but) originally it did have swimming lanes marked in it," he said. "So those will be back as well … That will be kind of an enhancement that we haven’t had."
The $25,000-$30,000 estimated cost of the project wasn’t originally budgeted.
Moss said he has been assured by city officials the money will be found to cover the repairs.
"It has to be done, it is a public service," he said.
The pool traditionally operates at a loss. It brings in about $45,000 each summer but costs $60,000 to operate, officials said.
However, before he took over as director a few years ago, the pool only made about $17,000, Moss added.
"The pool does operate at a deficit," he said. "But it’s something that I think is valuable to the community."
The pool offers more than just recreation, he added.
The facility is also used for swimming lessons taught by Martha Montoya, the pool’s director; and the Tsunami use it for practices and meets, Moss said.
The pool also can be rented for private parties.
In addition, 10-15 lifeguards will be hired, working part time from five to 20 hours a week, Moss said.
"We’re open from basically 8 o’clock in the morning till 9 o’clock at night with various things: swimming lessons, swim team, public swim, pool parties," he said. "The scheduling requires many part time instead of a few full time."
IN PHOTO: The Marble Falls City Pool at Lakeside Park, 306 Buena Vista Drive, is undergoing renovations to repair and restore the foundation. City officials confirmed the pool may not be ready to open by May 28 — the first Saturday of the summer break for the Marble Falls Independent School District. No word yet on the possible re-opening of the facility. Staff photo by Connie Swinney