Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXV, No. 3
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

Prudential Fox and Roach, Realtors

Gloria Nilson GMAC Real Estate

Henderson Sotheby's International Realty

N.T. Callaway Princeton Office

Stockton Real Estate, LLC

Weichert, Realtors

Advertise in Town Topics

Iris Interiors

Advertise in Town Topics

Weather Forecast

Deadline Looms as Discussions of Pool Designs and Costs Continue

Ellen Gilbert

“The original timeline is not shot yet, but we’re getting closer and closer to that point,” said new Recreation Department Executive Director Ben Stentz in the wake of last week’s meeting about pool developments.

Nearly 30 people, including Recreation Department and Recreation Board representatives, members of Township Committee and Borough Council, and individuals from two ad hoc groups filled the community room at Township Hall. Mayor Chad Goerner presided over the meeting, which occurred at the end of the 60-day meeting period assigned by Township Committee for Recreation Department staff members and ad hoc committee representatives to discuss their differences over proposed designs for an updated pool complex.

“To the Township’s credit, when they approved the bond ordinance, they realized that there were things that should be reviewed,” said Mr. Stentz referring to Township Committee’s approval of pool funds two months ago. Borough Council chose not to consider a similar ordinance at a recent meeting.

A detailed summary of the people, meeting times, and meeting results was circulated at the pool discussion. A final section on “next steps” concluded that “in order to be under construction in September 2011, it is imperative that staff and the architectural consultant be authorized no later than the end of January 2011 by Borough Council and Township Committee to proceed with final engineering drawings and specifications.”

Assistant Recreation Director Ted Ernst was a key player in meetings that included Township Engineer Deanna Stockton; Recreation Board pool subcommittee members Joanne Rogers and Mike Finklestein; Township Committee members Chad Goerner and Sue Nemeth; former Borough Councilman Andrew Koontz; and ad hoc committee members Ron Berlin, John Drezner, Walter Frank, Alan Goodheart, Michael Landau, Yina Moore, Ellen Randall, Joel Schwartz, and Mary Strange.

While several “areas of compromise” had been reached, nine “potential changes for further review” still remained at the meeting’s conclusion. These include relocation of a slide from the south side of the diving well; providing a smaller and reorganized maintenance area; providing openings in the men’s locker room ceiling; and modifying the ground floor elevations of the north locker room building to follow the existing grade more closely. It was noted that this last scenario, in conjunction with smaller maintenance and concession areas, could translate into a reduction in excavation and foundation costs.

Other questions to be resolved include removing the curved exterior building walls and replacing them with rectilinear lines; reorganizing the pool administration building, which would allow for the incorporation of the wading pool filtration and family changing building; providing open air ventilation at the bottom of locker room walls; providing half walls in the men’s shower stalls; and the removal of internal trellises.

The question of whether the new pool should be made of stainless steel or concrete also remained undecided. Pool consultant Ben Hanbicki, who was on hand to respond to questions, expressed his own enthusiasm for Myrtha pools, pre-engineered modules that use laminated stainless steel panels and a buttress system. He noted that while this relatively new design system would be costlier than other options, it would probably be more efficient to maintain over time.

Last summer alone, it cost some $20,000 to repair burst pipes, leaks, and damaged concrete walks in the 42-year-old pool complex, reported incoming Recreation Department Board Chair Mike Petrone. “This band-aid approach is only going to cost more,” he added. “The governing bodies have to take some leadership initiative to move this project forward.”

Borough Council is scheduled to consider pool issues at its Tuesday, January 25 meeting.

Return to Previous Story | Return to Top | Go to Next Story

Town Topics® may be purchased on Wednesday mornings at the following locations: Princeton — McCaffrey’s, Cox’s, Kiosk (Palmer Square), Krauszer’s (State Road), Olives, Speedy Mart (State Road), Wawa (University Place); Hopewell — Village Express; Rocky Hill — Wawa (Route 518); Pennington — Pennington Market.
Copyright© Town Topics®, Inc. 2011.