AUSTIN (KXAN) — For some, this summer has been a dry one, and we’re not talking about the weather. Some pools across our area have been closed all season.
On Thursday, the Austin City Council will decide whether to allocate an additional $1.3 million for renovations for Shipe Park Pool.
“The pool has been closed for the last two summers, which has been really a drag,” said Daniel Oppenheimer, a homeowner in Hyde Park and frequent pool visitor.
Back in 2014, the city set aside $3.1 million for repair costs after Austin’s Parks and Recreation Department discovered Shipe pool needed critical repairs. However, due to several setbacks, including the city’s permitting process, the project was pushed back.
“I think I probably speak for the neighborhood in saying that it’s been frustrating as slow as it has been,” said Oppenheimer.
Extensive leaks have kept Shipe Pool locked up and dry in Hyde Park.
“It’s been a bummer,” said Oppenheimer, who remembers spending evenings at the pool with his family and neighbors. “The pool is for everyone, and it just makes a huge difference.”
In 2014, the city placed seven pools on a critical watch list due to structural problems. Shipe Pool was one of those pools.
The city’s parks and recreation department says if the money is approved, this would allow them to build a whole new pool for the area.
“This is a complete renovation of that facility,” said Reynaldo Hernandez, a project management supervisor with the city’s parks and recreation department. “It’s a new facility. We are not using any of the old components of the pool facility as part of the new construction.”
If the funds and contract bid are approved Thursday, the goal would be to get work going in hopes of having the pool ready for next summer. Neighbors, including Oppenheimer, say they’re ready to dive in.
“I really hope the council votes, ‘yes’ because it’s very important for the neighborhood,” he said.
Those in the Hyde Park neighborhood saw a need to beautify Shipe pool, so they took action.
Five years ago, the community raised $45,000 to create a work of art. The money was used to turn the pool’s back empty wall into a 600-square-foot mosaic mural. It took artists three years to finish it.