MURRAY – The Murray Calloway County Park Board heard Monday night from an Indianapolis-based swimming pool company of the possibility of making the major repairs needed to reopen the local facility, which has closed over the past two years.
Several issues with Murray’s pool caused it to remain closed for the second summer in a row that year. According to an analysis by Water Technology Inc. commissioned by the Park Board in 2019, “The condition of the PVC membrane used as the interior of each pool is a significant problem with the (three) pools in the facility. Due to discoloration, numerous stains and delamination, the membrane has exceeded its expected service life and should be replaced. Another major problem is the condition of the main and training pool piping system (below the pool deck). Previous analyzes indicated that the pipelines related to gutters, main drains, flow and return are faulty. As a result, the pools lose a significant amount of water (estimated at around 6,000 gallons per day) that must be constantly replaced. “
Scott Black, the business development director for Natare Corporation, traveled to Murray Monday to pitch. He said the problem Murray’s facility is facing is common across the country for communities with pools of the same age. The pool in Central Park opened in 1976.
“I’m a father and have three children, all of whom grew up in the Brownsburg Parks system,” said Black. “I was on the Brownsburg Park Board, which is about ten miles west of Indianapolis. We are dealing with exactly the same things as you are. I told someone along the way that my dad is a councilor in Norris, Tennessee, and they are trying to decide what to do with their old pool. Many pools were built 30-40 years ago (a popular trend). Many country clubs have built them too and (that need to be repaired or replaced) is a very common situation. “
Black said Natare’s employees include engineers, architects, sales and marketing representatives, and the company has a full facility that manufactures and installs all of the equipment he sells and installs, except for overseas pool liners. He said the fact that all activities are under one roof helps get projects done faster than having multiple vendors involved.
“With everything we make, we don’t have to rely on subcontractors to get it to our destination on time,” he said. “The problem we have right now is the same problem as everyone else, and that is knowing how much something is going to cost in six months. Stainless steel is a commodity and we use type 316 stainless steel which is surgical stainless steel but we need to stock it to make sure we have enough in case someone like you or other projects we are working on six times have calls Months and says: ‘We are ready to go.’ Because right now it’s hard to get deliveries. Anyway, I’ll just tell you what you already know. “
Black said Steve Wilhelm, the parking system’s maintenance director, had briefed him on the history of the pool and its current problems.
“When we talk to new owners, we tell most pools that they should expect 30 or 40 years out of their pool, and that goes for commercial buildings and a lot of things, too,” said Black. “This pool did that. The great luck is usually that such an old pool is at an angle where the walls collapse or the whole thing is sunk. And it sounds as if this concrete shell – even if it does not hold water – is structurally very solid and can withstand renovation without any problems.
“So we’re talking about removing the top edge of the pool all around and installing a stainless steel gutter system. … a pressurized supply pipe (sends) the clean water back into the pool. It exits from the forward inlets drilled here and clears any plumbing currently buried under your deck so it is likely to be leaking. “
If he were hired for the job, Black said, it would likely take Natare’s contractors a month or two to complete the job. Lisa Farris, a new county-appointed board member for the park, asked others in attendance if they had any feel for what the community would see in a renovated pool. Parks director Ryan Yates said he thinks most people would be happy if the pool could just reopen. However, the general consensus among board members was that shading the facility, which is currently fully exposed to the sun, would be a popular move. Black said that while Natare doesn’t make structures for shade, there are many options for the board to consider.
Murray Mayor Bob Rogers also attended Monday’s meeting. Rogers said last week that repairing and reopening the pool facility would be his top priority if the city of Murray takes control of the parking system, which is currently a joint city / county authority. The city and district office are currently negotiating an agreement.