SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

January 29, 2013

Committee to look at aging pool

By Jonathan Phelps
Staff writer

---- — HAMILTON — The pool at Patton Park is in need of major repairs.

To address the issue, selectmen have formed a committee to assess the pool’s condition and come up with an action plan. The pool was built in the early 1960s by the American Legion, according to selectmen Chairman David Neill.

Town Manager Michael Lombardo said 80 percent of the infrastructure of the pool is original and needs to be renovated. The bathhouse and bathrooms are undersized for current codes, there are cracks in the pool itself, and the filtration system needs work, he said.

The decking is also heaving, creating a tripping hazard, he said.

“Something needs to be done,” Lombardo said. “It has become difficult to keep it open.”

Lombardo said the pool requires temporary repairs in order to open this upcoming season, but a plan needs to be developed if the pool is going to remain open long-term.

Neill said the pool committee will come back to the board with recommendations for the best course of action, including what needs to be done to either renovate or replace the pool and the estimated costs.

Neill said the pool is a valuable asset to the town.

“A lot of people use it,” said Neill, who lives nearby on Asbury Street. “I can remember walking down there with my kids and using the pool. It was a very important part of our summers with the kids and for many other people, as well.”

The committee’s work comes as a new playground is being built after more than $240,000 was raised by the Friends of Patton Park.

Neill said he is excited to see what the park becomes with all the proposed changes.