PARD recommends Givens Pool be shut down while replacement is built

Givens Pool in East Austin_163476

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Givens Pool could be shut down while a replacement is built, the Austin Parks and Recreation District said in a memo to the city council.

PARD director Kimberly McNeeley wrote in the memo that tests in November 2019 confirmed the pool loses around 120,000 gallons per day.

“Allowing this substantial water leak to continue is fiscally irresponsible, creates considerable water conservation concerns and has undesirable environmental impacts to the watershed.” McNeeley wrote.

In 2017, the city spent $260,000 to keep the pool going despite deteriorating conditions. The replacement will be funded through the city’s 2018 general obligation bond at $6 million. Construction of the replacement pool is scheduled to start in 2022.

Givens Pool has had issues since 2016. An engineering firm checked out the pool after significant water loss, then a year later the firm said there were cracks in the walls in the deep end of the pool and a contaminated filtration system.

In 2018, the sump pump was replaced and the cracks were sealed. Last year, it was found out the pool continued to leak, despite the repairs. An estimate around $640,000 came in to make more repairs, “without a guarantee of life expectancy or that the repairs would be done by the 2020 swim season,” the memo says.

In lieu of the pool season, PARD said it’s going to expand its free Summer Playgrounds Program and provide bus passes at no charge to community members the pool serves. Those passes can be picked up at the Givens Recreation Center and are good for residents to swim at any PARD facility.

They’ll also provide free rides from Givens Park to the Swim Safe and swim team programs.

The Givens District Park location of the Summer Playgrounds Program will run from June 8-July 31.

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