COLUMBIA — A $126,500 repair of the roof over the Hickman High School swimming pool will extend its life by another five to 10 years, but city and school officials are wondering what to do after that.
The cost of the roof repair will be evenly split between the city and Columbia Public Schools under an ordinance that will be up for final approval by the Columbia City Council at its Oct. 19 meeting.
Charles Oestreich, director of building services for the school district, said the roof had lasted as long as expected and had to be replaced.
“About 25 percent of the total area of that roof had a big old blister and was weighted down with sandbags where the roof had become not adhered and was flapping in the wind,” Oestreich said.
He said there were leaks in the pool building but minimal damage.
“Aesthetically, you see some water stains on the ceiling, but where water leaks down into a pool area, you don’t see a lot of damage from that,” Oestreich said.
Original estimates for the project were $150,000 to $200,000. Oestreich said the project was cheaper than expected because of the economy, the lower price of oil and the timing of the project. The lower cost allowed the work to be done sooner.
“Because we only had to come up with $126,500, it was a lot easier to find that amount of money,” said Mike Griggs, city park services manager. Ordinarily, he said, the city would have waited until 2011 and budgeted for the work.
According to previous Missourian reports, the school district and the city paid more than $500,000 in 2007 to update the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system and the chlorination system at the pool. Oestreich said he knows of no other significant repairs the building should need in the near future.
Griggs said the completed repairs should allow the pool to remain in operation for another five to 10 years.
Parks and Recreation Director Mike Hood said in a June 1 report to the City Council that his staff and school district officials were beginning to wonder how much more they should invest in the 35-year-old pool. He cited "concerns" about underground plumbing and the pool shell.
Because of the pool's age, it's becoming out of date. The diving pool under new codes isn’t deep enough for the Hickman and Rock Bridge high school diving teams, so they must practice at MU.
“Code changes have made the facility a little bit obsolete, but it is still a great facility,” Griggs said.
"In an ideal scenario, (the Hickman pool) would be demolished and a new indoor aquatic facility constructed that handles the needs of both the district and the city," Hood wrote. He estimated the cost for "a simple, bare bones indoor pool with deep water at $4 million to $6 million.
According to the agreement between the city and the district, the city is responsible for maintaining the pool area and the district is responsible for maintaining the facilities around it. The cost of major projects are shared. At the end of the year, the city and district compare costs and one reimburses the other so that total costs are equal for both the city and the district.