Middle school pool closed

Construction affects synchro team


Carissa Prestholdt

Seniors Ella Hammerstrand and Mia Miller perform a pop-up during Aquafins show Feb. 8. The annual Minnesota Aquafins show consisted of 17 performances from all age groups.

Talia Lissauer

As freshman Maren Wilsey prepares for her third season competing on the synchro team,  she said the Park middle school pool’s closure will affect the team’s practice location. The home meet location will not be affected. 

“This year what we are going to do is similar to what we did last year when the high school pool was closed, we move our practices to PSI,” Wilsey said. “Since the high school pool is still open then it won’t affect our meets very much because our home meets (are) at the high school.”

According to facilities manager Tom Bravo, the tiles that line the bottom of the pool are out of place, but are in the process of being repaired. 

“We found out a couple of weeks ago that tiles were coming out of the bottom of the pool. We needed to close the pool, drain the pool and then determine the extent of the work because it’s a pretty good-sized area that the tiles were popping up,” Bravo said.

According to senior Tjessa Arradondo, the closure will force middle schoolers to spend more time getting to the pool than normal. 

“I know the younger swimmers are possibly going to have to use the PSI pool but any of the synchronized swimmers that are middle schoolers are going to have to somehow transport to get to PSI which would take up time from their practice,” Arradondo said. 

Bravo said it could be around two months before the pool is able to be used again.

“The process is that once it is dried out we will membrane down the tile that takes about a week or so but then it takes two-three weeks for curing because you don’t want to fill it with the ground still wet. The ground has to dry up,” Bravo said. “Once the ground dries up and experts say ‘yes everything is all good’ we can fill the pool up and that takes about two days three days to get it all up, the pH level all up.”

According to Arradondo, the closing will have a greater effect on the middle schoolers than high schoolers. 

“I think it will affect mostly the younger girls, but having one less pool can be a struggle because we might have to combine practices sometimes when the community center pool is being used,” Arradondo said.

According to Bravo, he is working with programs that typically use the pool to ensure that everyone has a pool to use. 

“We have three pools in this district, we are very fortunate. So we’ve been working with athletics and other departments that use it saying they can go to the other pools,” Bravo said. “Those are busy pools, but we have no way around getting the pool up any faster than we are trying.”