After two years of repairs totaling $16 plus million on the Aquatic Center at , which was closed for 18 months to take care of several repairs, several residents and Tully Park pool members are asking if there is more trouble ahead and why they had to wait so long to have their pool back.
The New Hyde Park pool reopened in October, 2011, but further refurbishing started on January 9 of this year and was completed on February 18, which involved drain replacement and replacing a pool liner that had been leaking, according to Town Supervisor .
In May, the pool had a that brought three people to the hospital due to eye irritation and labored breathing and has been resolved as of May 23, according to an employee at North Hempstead Aquatic Activity Center. The employee said that it’s possible that the in the pool were too concentrated.
“The pool is beautiful now; it is a new pool and everyone is very excited,” Kaiman said. “The pool is now in great condition. We did have several issues, such as filtration system failure, a leaky liner and drainage problems, but now we have a new pool.”
But some residents are wary of all the past trouble at the pool. Pool member and Roslyn Heights resident Elizabeth Siegel feels a lot of money was wasted on the new pool slide and awnings.
“Instead of a slide, we need new power washed lockers and the old ones need to be replaced,” Siegel said. “The liner was leaking and it was replaced, but the pool is currently all uneven on the bottom of it. The elevators in the Aquatic Center are constantly breaking down. I care about this pool, so where did all the money go -- the millions that were spent on repairs?”
New Hyde Park resident and long-time Tully Park Pool member Harry Exarchakis said he loves the pool and too many people are complaining.
“Things happen and now everything is fine with the pool,” Exarchakis said. “I have been a member since the pool opened in 1978.”
A Great Neck resident and pool member feels the pool and the slide has a design problem because the kiddie pool and the adult pool are attached and should be separated.
“Kids slide into the adult walking lanes of the pool and that is not good,” the Great Neck resident said. “Even the exercise room here at the center has equipment failure problems and all the banana and palm plants have died. These problems are going on for too long.”
According to the Town’s spokesperson, the project, like most renovations, took longer than expected because unplanned-for situations popped up.
“For example, parts of the roof had rotted at Tully Park Pool and had to be replaced,” he said. “We try to schedule sessions so that those who want to swim laps are not using the pool at the same time as the children using the kiddie pool and slide....the whole idea of renovating this pool was to make it a place for families. It’s not a competitive facility.”
The Town spokesperson said that the main upgrades for the reconstruction of Tully Park Pool and Aquatic Center over the last two years consisted of a new electrical system, a new pool with a new slide, a new gym and party room, replacing window frames and awnings, repairing the filtration system, a new pool liner and repairs to the pool’s drainage system and new flooring. This work was done by FML Contracting and several subcontractors.
In April, The Town of North Hempstead Town Board authorized an agreement with Sidney B. Bowne, LLP of Mineola to help with design services totaling $167,000 relating to improvements at Tully Park Physical Activities Center. But when Frank Lowe, one of the architects at the firm, emphasized that everything is good now and will be in the future with the pool and the aquatic center. Beyond that, he declined to comment and referred New Hyde Park Patch to the Town of North Hempstead for further comment.