City officials are in the conversation stage of determining what the future holds for the Westmoor Pool in Scottsbluff.
The pool remained closed this summer amid concerns stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, however, if the pool is to open again in 2021, there is work that needs to be done. Talks during public city council meetings have raised the question of replacing the facility — or at least part of it — with a more traditional pool rather than the water park that currently exists with slides and a lazy river on the east side of the pool. Technically, Westmoor is two pools with the west side zero-depth pool being considered separately for insurance and regulatory matters. As such, it also comes with greater staffing needs than a traditional pool.
Scottsbluff parks supervisor Rick Deeds recently showed the Star-Herald around the site, and said the existing facility needs a lot of work. Rust, corrosion and hard water marks are indicators of where the leaks are in the facility.
“All of the structures for the slides need to be repainted and touched up,” he said. “The main pipe that comes out of the bottom of the tubs needs to be resealed, re-glued, especially where it connects to the bottom of the tubs. That seal up there is bad, and needs to be redone. The slides themselves need to be re-gel coated. It’s just worn down after years of use.”
The yellow slide at the pool was installed when the pool was rebuilt in its current configuration in the early 2000s. The white slide on the site was relocated from its spot in the previous pool.
If 2020 had been a typical year, the two slides would have been waxed for a better surface, however, spots can be seen where the fiberglass has been repaired and caulk has been used to fill in leaking seams. There are companies that make the repairs, but that work is very labor intensive and expensive, Deeds said.
Deeds points to the tube running down from the tub atop the yellow slide that normally leads to a lazy river.
“This one needs to get replaced because it leaks,” Deeds said. “As you can tell by the water stains on this tube, it’s leaked for quite some time.”
Inside the slide itself, Deeds points out cracks and spots in need of repair and repairs that have been made in past years.
“All these cracks in the bottom are surface cracks, but if they’re left to go, then they get worse and worse and worse,” Deeds said.
The pool walls have cracks where hard water deposits have settled. Those would need to be repaired as well.
Inside the pump house, rusted bolts and brackets are in need of replacement. Silicone has been used as a repair, but there are components in need of more help.
Depending on the size of any potential replacement pool, the existing infrastructure — pumps and heating units — may be able to adapt for use in a new facility.
“Pools, if they last 25 years, it’s amazing,” Deeds said, “because of all the hazardous chemicals, the chlorine and the acid, it’s just a harsh environment. You’re lucky to get a pool to last this long.”