“We’re using all our resources and working with the contractor to get it open as soon as possible,” said Rusty Ellis, recreation director for Jackson County.
The Sylva pool is expected to open Wednesday, June 21, and the Cashiers pool should be open by Saturday, June 17.
The Sylva pool has been the bigger project, with Charlotte-based Carolina Pool Plastering under a $100,000 contract to replaster and retile the main pool and the kiddie pool. The pool’s plaster came with a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years, but it had been in use for 16 years before its replacement this year. Sylva and Jackson County are splitting the cost of renovations.
“This past summer the bottom of the pool was flaking off because the plaster was coming off,” Ellis said. “People were getting their toes cut, so this was definitely something we had to do before we opened this summer.”
Typically, the pool opens up for Memorial Day weekend, but opening was delayed when the project took longer than expected. Ellis originally expected it to be a simple tile job, but reports by engineer Victor Lofquist showed that a more extensive project was required. The contract was awarded in mid-May, with a string of rainy days then slowing down the work. However, Carolina Plastering’s contract states they must be done by June 17. After that, it will take a few days to fill up the pool and rebalance the chemicals.
This will likely be phase one of a two-phase effort to revamp the pool. Lofquist is currently working on a report regarding renovations to the bathhouse, which was last renovated in 1999. However, at that point nothing was done with the flooring, and there are currently significant drainage issues in need of addressing. It’s unknown at this point how much those renovations might cost. If the project is able to secure grant funding — perhaps from the state’s Parks and Recreation Trust Fund — the city and county would be interested in tearing the building down completely to start from scratch.
Renovations at the Cashiers pool aren’t quite as costly as the $100,000 contract for the Sylva renovations. County workers have been fixing issues with cracks in the pool deck and redoing some doors and light fixtures in the bathhouse. A new pool heater has been ordered and should be in place soon. The work has cost about $20,000.
However, as in Sylva, more investment is likely on the horizon for the Cashiers pool. Lofquist is working on a preliminary report on future renovations for that bathhouse as well. He will be paid $14,400 for his work on the two pools.