Byrnes pool closed for summer, city plans to upgrade it and Gates pool in the future

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WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) – Summer is in full swing, meaning many people are enjoying the sunshine and spending time by the water.

But that’s not the case for Byrnes Park Pool in Waterloo. It won’t see any swimmers until next year.

The city’s recreation services manager, Mark Gallagher, said they started getting the pool ready in May. As they were filling it, they realized it was not holding water in the deep end. They originally thought they could repair it in time for summer. But the problem turned out to be bigger than they expected.

Gallagher said the the pipes underneath the pool shifted, which broke them. He said the damage may be caused by harsh conditions this past winter, or the fact that the pool opened nearly 40 years ago.

The repairs will cost about $50,000, according to Gallagher. He said the goal is to fix the pool so it can open again next year. But the city hopes to eventually replace the pool, along with Gates Park Pool on the other side of town.

“You know, I think we’ve got a plan in place for this pool to get us a few more years, but I think everybody is in agreement it’s time we start moving towards replacing both of our facilities,” Gallagher said. “Gates is holding up right now, but Gates was built the same time as [Byrnes} so we know those issues are right around the corner.”

Gallagher said they’ve begun to draft designs for the pools, but the city doesn’t want to rush the process. He said they’ll be looking for public input.

“[Byrnes has] outlived its usefulness. Newer pools don’t have this design anymore. You can tell it was a pool that was built in the 80s and to make major repairs to this, I don’t think would be worth it,” he said. “Where if we could modernize our pool, I think our citizens would love it.”

This summer, the city is honoring pool passes at the Cedar Valley SportsPlex and Gates Park Pool.

For more information about the hours, prices, etc., visit: http://www.waterlooleisureservices.org/sports/aquatics

Olivia Schmitt

Olivia Schmitt

Morning Reporter at KWWL
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