Archived Story

City to spend $11k for repairs to pool

Published 12:33pm Thursday, May 16, 2013

Joy Harris
Hartselle Enquirer

A problem with the expansion joints in the Hartselle Aquatic Center pool deck is estimated to cost $11,000 in repairs, according to Jeff Johnson, director of the Hartselle Department of Development.

When the Hartselle Aquatic Center was being built last year, Johnson said the plans did not specify any controlled expansion joints to fill the gap between concrete slabs in the pool deck. The architect, contractor and Hartselle staff decided epoxy filler should be used due to its aesthetics. The epoxy would take paint to match the deck and create a flush, seamless surface.

The epoxy used was too rigid to withstand the expansion and contraction of the concrete slabs throughout the last year. The joints began to break apart and peel out, leaving gaps between the concrete slabs. These separations could become a hazard for barefoot swimmers and sunbathers.

Johnson hopes to have the remaining epoxy removed and refill the joints with polyurethane caulking, a much more flexible filler before the pool opens for the summer. This caulking would come with a five-year warranty. The estimated cost of removal is $1,000 along with the $10,000 estimated cost of installing the new caulking.

This cost to repair the year-old pool deck would be split between the city of Hartselle and the Hartselle Aquatic Center’s contractor, Woodward Construction, would split the cost $5,500 each since both parties were at fault. The City Council has expressed hopes that all parties involved, including Hartselle Aquatic Center’s architect, GWB Architects, would split the repair to further cut down the cost.

Johnson was disappointed to have to make repairs on the pool so soon after its opening.

“We are all unhappy to have to make costly repairs to the pool deck already, but this repair will hopefully fix the problem and prevent further damages,” Johnson said. “This new filler has been used on numerous pool deck similar to ours and has proven to work well.”

Larry Madison, city attorney, encouraged the City Council to pay for the replacement now and settle cost disputes later.

“The pool needs to open this year, but that’s not possible in its current condition,” Madison said. “The City of Hartselle can reserve its rights to compensation and should hold responsible anyone at fault, including themselves, responsible. The pool needs to be fixed now. We can chase the money once its fixed and open again.”

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