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There are times where very difficult decisions must be made. Unfortunately, we have reached one of those times with the Hankey Farms Pool.
The pool, which is well over 50 years old, has had many problems with leaking and mechanical issues over the last several years. It is these problems that led the Township to solicit bids during the winter to install a liner, new gutter system and replace some of the piping. The bids came in over $300,000 higher than we have available for the project. We didn’t have time to re-bid to get the work done prior to the summer season, so the idea was to proceed to open as usual.
When assessing the condition of the pool following this past winter, there is much more winter damage than there had been during the past year. We created a list of repairs needed in order to open. The cost associated with repairing the pool would not be cost effective at this point.
Because water features are a very popular amenity to the community, we are working on a solution that will serve us for the long term rather than a short term costly fix. To make the current Hankey Farms pool functional and handicapped accessible would cost $1.3 million. A new pool and bath house could cost as much as $4 million. We cannot undertake such a project without borrowing funds and increasing taxes.
The plan currently under review would be to install a “Splash Pad” at the Donaldson Park Complex and continue a partnership with West Allegheny School District for swim lessons and aquatic activities. Splash Pads are becoming increasingly popular in communities due to the low cost to operate and enjoyment that they provide to all. Splash Pads are also much more accessible to people with special needs. This could be done with available funds. Once plans are approved and barring any unforeseen circumstances, a Splash Pad of this nature could be completed to open for the 2018 summer season.
We want to thank every member, patron, employee, and volunteer who has helped with the pool over the years. Without your constant support and dedication, the Hankey Farms Pool would not have been possible.