Hop Brook Pool in bad shape

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Naugatuck officials weighing repairs, replacement

The Board of Mayor and Burgesses discussed possible repairs or replacement of Hop Brook Pool at its meeting Tuesday night. LARAINE WESCHLER

NAUGATUCK — The Hop Brook Pool is in such poor condition that it could close this summer, public works officials told the Board of Mayor and Burgesses Tuesday night.

The L-shaped public pool is more than 40 years old and the concrete is deteriorating, according to a report by CHA, the Albany-based engineering firm that built the pool.

Of the pool’s 4,000 square feet, more than half of the concrete needs to be repaired and some of it needs to be replaced entirely, according to the report. The plumbing also needs repairs and the pool needs to be refinished, according to the report.

The firm estimated repairs could cost at least $230,000 and last five to seven years, Recreation Director Kim Eyre said.

By contrast, a new pool could last 30 to 40 years, said James Stewart, director of public works.

A new pool, with repairs to the bathhouse, would cost $673,000, according to CHA. Adding a spray ground would raise the total to $920,000. If the borough decides to build a new pool, Hop Brook would close this summer.

“We could easily get it done by next summer if the funding is available,” Stewart said.

Even if a new pool is not approved, the pool is so unsafe that it will not open this summer unless it is repaired, Stewart said. Injuries have been reported due to the cracked concrete, including one incident last summer where the bottom of the pool cut a swimmer who was taken to the hospital as a result, Stewart said.

“I don’t want to see someone hurt,” Stewart said.

The Joint Boards of Finance and Mayor and Burgesses allotted $100,000 from the reserve fund this year for pool repairs, which the public works department realized would not be enough after receiving CHA’s Dec. 22 report, Stewart said. Instead, Stewart asked the borough board to approve using the money to design a new pool, saying it would be more cost effective in the long term.

The borough board referred the matter to a joint meeting with the Board of Finance.

Some burgesses expressed concern about residents who would be affected if the pool, located on Crown Street behind Hop Brook Elementary School, were to close.

As many as 5,000 people use the pool every summer, Eyre said. As in the past, the borough could offer lessons and open swim sessions at Naugatuck High School, but that will not help many who walked to the pool and had no other means of transportation, Eyre said.

Deputy Mayor Tamath Rossi said many in the neighborhood rely on the pool during the summer months rather than taking expensive trips.

“That is their vacation,” Rossi said. “Their vacation is going to that pool every day, picnicking there.”