Maplewood residents have been buzzing over to pay the debt service on a bond for new improvements at the community pool.
But what about those improvements that the $1.3 million-plus bond is buying?
A recent tour of the construction site with Maplewood Town Engineer Tom Malavasi outlined the scope of work. That amount is buying a new system of underground pipes that will improve drainage and filtration, complete new decking (for the upper and lower decks), a handicap-access ramp between the decks as well as one descending into the main pool, new tiling around the pools' gutters, and — finally and most extravagantly — two new water slides in the main pool.
The good news is that, due to the mild winter, construction as of Feb. 10 was far ahead of schedule. Much of the excavation and the installation of pipes has been accomplished.
Malavasi anticipates that the slides will be installed by the end of March. The slides will be placed centrally in the main pool on the side of the pool that abuts . Contractors have installed the foundations for the slides, created a hole in the side of the pool for water suction (these are water slides) and installed pipes and pumps to move that water to the top of the two slides that will be installed by AquaBlue in the spring. The slides will be blue, white and gray.
Malavasi noted that the slides will have their own full-time guard. "Not a lot of towns have it," he said. He noted that AquaBlue's last project was at Crystal Springs in East Brunswick.
Malavasi and Anthony Cerullo, the pool foreman, explained that the new deck will be poured with white concrete — the white color will make the deck brighter and cooler than the old surface. Cerullo noted that the original deck had been patched heavily over the years on the Boyden Avenue side, where fill had been used to elevate the grade when the pool was built and opened in 1965.
On Friday, a giant hole gaped in the ground between the filtration system and the main pool. A few feet away, a big shiny new bypass valve sat on the ground ready to be installed at a level below the bottom of the main pool. Malavasi said that the previous bypass valve sat higher — above the level of the bottom of the pool — making it impossible to drain the entire pool.
Some things will remain the same.
Besides the slides and the new wheelchair ramp, no changes are being made to the pool surfaces. The baby pool, which was renovated just a few years ago, will not be altered. And the current project does not include any work on the clubhouse, including the showers and bathrooms.