LIVINGSTON, NJ - The Livingston Township Council has begun preliminary discussions on the renovation and revamping of the town’s two community pools. After hearing a presentation by architects and developers last week, the mayor and council will begin discussing the best course of action for the future of the pools.
Currently, according to the council, both the Northland and Haines pools are in desperate need of both cosmetic and infrastructural renovations. According to the architects, who surveyed the pools in person to reach their conclusions, Haines is quickly approaching its service life and, after 61 years of use, suffers from outdated electrical and pump systems.
The architects also noted both pools’ lack of amenities for disabled patrons and their noncompliance with the American Disabilities Act, as well as other codes and regulations. In addition to the structural damages, both pools feature damaged gutter systems and shells, which not only diminish the pool’s function, but also forces pool management to implement “quick fix” and costly solutions to mask the problems, they said.
The architects described the renovations during the pool’s history as “band-aids” that did little but push off badly needed renovations.
Although the conditions at the pools are evident, a clear and simple solution is not, said Jennifer Hessberger, director of Senior, Youth and Leisure Services (SYLS). According to Hessberger, the proposed renovations would cost the town more than $10 million: $8 million devoted to Haines and another $4.5 million for Northland.
According to the architect’s proposal, both pools need “major investment of capital to be serviceable.” The funds would cover the overhauls necessary for the outdated pump and electrical systems, as well as deck and pipe replacements.
The renovations at Haines would cover myriad of upgrades, including $2.5 million for the enclosure of the lap pool, renovated locker rooms and changing areas and a zero entry to the main pool. Northland upgrades mainly address pump, gutter and electrical systems.
These proposals are part of a 10-year master draft plan that addresses the disrepair of each pool.
As an alternative, there is also a plan that would be a complete reconstruction project at one of the two current pool locations—eliminating the other altogether. This idea would be in place of repairing both pools, and instead would feature a single complex to be renovated from top to bottom.
The current proposal iteration has the new complex being constructed at either Haines or Northland. Also in the proposal is a roughly 10,000-square-foot building that would house changing areas, a concessions venue and other pool amenities.
The $10-million proposal would make the pool operational, but other issues, such as cost, location, and funding would all need to be addressed before any tangible progress is made.
The council members mentioned a “debt ledge” that would need to be maneuvered in order to properly finance the construction of a new complex. According to the council, the community has a need for a high-functioning pool, as it not only offers residents a place for amusement, but also provides local swim teams with a place to practice and the public a place to exercise.
Moving forward, the local government agreed to discuss and agree upon the best-possible way to accommodate the needs of the community in a financially conscious way.
Evan Graziano is a senior at Ramapo College working as an intern at TAPinto.net.