There will not be any public swimming in Yuma during the summer of 2023.
It is hoped a renovated and improved Yuma Municipal Pool will be ready in time for the summer of 2024, but there is no guarantee at this time.
“It all depends on the funding,” City Manager Scott Moore said.
As in $2.5 million of it — which also would go toward a new playground at City Park, as well as a “splash pad” to the east of the pool.
The pool staff struggled mightily to keep the facility open last summer. Various leaks resulted in the pool losing more water than could be treated with chemicals, often resulting in temporary closures.
The pool limped to the end of the swimming season. It was obvious, however, that it was in need of a major overhaul.
City staff has had numerous pool contractors visit the site to determine the full extent of renovations.
All the piping that runs around the pool, which was built in the 1960s, will have to be replaced. That means all the decking will have to removed. Everything in the chemical room needs replaced.
So the city is looking at new piping, new deck, new filter system, new chemical feeders, new boiler, and a new ADA pool lift. A new slide will be installed, and some work also will be done with the “baby pool.”
Moore said a structural engineer determined the pool’s building is sound, so it will remain.
The project also includes plans for a “splash pool” located east of the pool. The splash pool would be accessible to anyone for free. It would be activated by someone stepping onto it; otherwise it would sit dormant when not being used.
The project is about more than the pool, and the adjacent splash pool.
The playground equipment at City Park, installed 30 years ago, also is falling apart.
The plan is to put in a new all-inclusive playground, except for the swings, which remain in good shape. It would include ADA compliance ground surfacing, and a shelter and tables.
Total cost, including a 20-percent contingency in the event of increase of costs, is $2.566 million.
Moore said the city has all of the necessary contractors in place,
“We have had a lot of people out here,” he said.
Candy Gilliland has been in charge of the pool for the past several years. She recently left her city job for a new role at the SARA House. However, the council approved a contract labor agreement with Gilliland for her to continue keep working on grant opportunities.
She said including the playground opens up more grant opportunities.
The council has approved $300,000 of ARPA funds to the project, and the city already has secured a $200,000 grant from OEDIT (Office of Economic Development and International Trade).
Gilliland said is submitting grants to the Colorado Health Foundation, as well as GOCO (Great Outdoors Colorado). The GOCO grant will be submitted during the August cycle, as recommended to the city by GOCO’s regional representative, whom Gilliland said has provided valuable input.
It probably will not be until December before the city learns if it will get the GOCO grant, which is the real big one.
As mentioned above, the contractors are already lined up, so if it all comes together, the hope is to get it started early in 2024 and work through the spring. Moore said that if all works out, “maybe” the pool would ready for the summer of 2024.
The City of Yuma, City of Wray, NECALG’s County Express, and the Yuma County Office of Human Services, are working together to possibly provide transportation from Yuma to Wray for swimming lessons and open swimming this summer.
The plan has not been finalized yet, but if it all comes together, look for the full details in the Pioneer later this month.