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Another community pool could close, but here's what might replace it
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Oakwood Public Works Director Jason Spencer inspects the pool Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, at Oakwood City Park. The pool, nearing 30 years, is showing signs of age and may be replaced soon with a sprayground at the site. - photo by Scott Rogers

Oakwood’s community pool may be going away for good after the 2019 season ends this Labor Day weekend, but a new water-based attraction may be on the way.

Facing a renovation possibly costing $80,000, the city is considering whether continued expensive upkeep is worth reopening the pool next summer.

As it is, the pool at Oakwood City Park off Railroad Street in the downtown area “does not pay its way,” City Manager Stan Brown said.

The city received $35,000 in revenues for 2017 and 2018 combined, while the expenses overall for those two years was $81,000.

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Oakwood Public Works Director Jason Spencer inspects the longtime city pool at Oakwood City Park Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019. The pool, nearing 30 years, is showing signs of age and may be replaced soon with a sprayground at the site. - photo by Scott Rogers

“We see about 6,000 people through the gate each year,” Brown said.

Public Works Director Jason Spencer showed The Times some of the pool’s deficiencies during a visit Thursday, Aug. 29.

“The biggest thing … is concrete slabs in some areas are settling and will have to be replaced,” he said. “We have a crack that goes from one side of the pool to the other. It’s just a constant (effort of) filling the cracks and stopping the leaks.”

The city is considering replacing the pool with a splash pad, or recreation area featuring water spraying from a deck into the air. The city is looking at something similar to the Sprayground at Laurel Park at 3100 Cleveland Highway in North Hall.

“We are analyzing the capital and operating cost for the pool compared to a sprayground,” Brown said. “The cost data will be used to make a final decision.”

He added: “Our goal would be — if we decided to (build a splash pad) — to try to get something done through the winter and spring to where we would have it open sometime in the summer.”

A splash pad could be more costly upfront but likely much cheaper in the long run when calculating costs of operations, lifeguards and chemicals, Spencer said.

“The water usage would probably stay the same, but the chemical usage … and the power consumption would drop dramatically,” he said. “The pumps and the chemicals are running 24/7.”

Oakwood community pool

Where: Oakwood City Park, Railroad Street near Main Street

Admission: $3 per person

Hours: 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 31; 1-6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1; and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 2

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The City of Oakwood may replace the longtime community pool at Oakwood City Park with a sprayground. - photo by Scott Rogers
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