Facility Profile - March 2011
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Aquatics: Graceful Aging

Pittsburgh Field Club in Fox Chapel, Pa.

By Dawn Klingensmith

Using the existing pool shell and pump room, "We kept the same look and layout but we spruced it up," Comstock said.

The company "does everything from just resurfacing to just gutters," he added, "but this was a complete renovation."

RenoSys performed a major upgrade using a full range of its product systems, and reusing 90 percent of the pool's existing infrastructure. Had the club replaced the pool entirely, the project might have cost as much as $1.5 million. Installing an envelope of PVC inside the old pool shell, along with other renovations and upgrades, cost less than $400,000 and freed up cash for other projects.

Upgrades included new plumbing runs to the large pools and the wading pool, new main drains, a new stainless steel gutter, and all new deck and safety equipment. The project's centerpiece is the new PVC pool shell membrane, which gives the pool its "brand new" look.

PVC liners, or membranes, are compatible with any type of shell including concrete, plaster, fiberglass, aluminum and steel. A liner does away with leaks as well as the need to paint, plaster, caulk or sandblast the old shell. The liner is completely suspended inside the old shell and does not depend on a bond with the old pool; hence, expansion and contraction in freeze-thaw cycles is not a problem. PVC's nonporous surface makes it difficult for algae to adhere.

Racing lines can be constructed of PVC membrane in a contrasting color and adhered to the PVC surface.

The Field Club opted to turn the wading pool into a zero-depth entry pool. After "shallowing" and re-plumbing the existing pool, a slip-resistant, textured PVC pool shell was installed for the interior surface. The finishing touches were spray features that add play value and visual interest.

The wading pool measures about 25 feet by 50 feet, with a shape suggestive of a small island. A spray feature Comstock described as a "mushroom" calls to mind a palm tree. The overall impression is of a tropical piece of paradise you wouldn't mind being marooned on.

The lap area of the large pool is 42 feet by 100 feet, and the dive well is 40 feet by 42 feet. The renovation is expected to extend the pool's life span by at least 25 years.


Pittsburgh Field Club: www.fieldclub.org

Renosys: www.renosys.com