Feature Article - November 2005
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HOW-TO GUIDE

Handy Solutions to Common Problems

By Stacy St. Clair, Jenny E. Beeh and Kelli Anderson



How To Turn a Nightmare Pool Into a Dream Pool

If your pool has a cracked basin, worn-out deck or leaky infrastructure—and attendance is slipping away—it's high time for improvements, especially before safety becomes an issue.

An aging pool might not only be physically deteriorating (like a decrepit infrastructure and failing mechanical systems), but it also might be struggling to meet the latest health codes and safety regulations.

Of course, renovating your facility also can up its aesthetic and programming appeal to meet the increasingly high expectations of the public.

Consider it a reinvestment in your recreational offerings.

GET THE BEACH BALL ROLLING

If your pool is starting to show signs of functional or physical obsolescence, the time to begin the process is now. Are you planning a relatively easy facelift of the existing structure or a major site overhaul? Depending on the depth of your project, it may take some time to go through investigation, review, funding, design and construction stages of development, so the sooner you begin the process, the quicker you'll open the doors to your new or renovated aquatic center.

GATHERING INFO

Especially for large-scale plans, start by documenting the state of your existing facility, including attendance and revenue histories as well as mechanical and structural maintenance issues. An aquatic consultant can help conduct a facility audit to analyze the condition of your current facility and programming. The consultant also can prepare design options and individualized business plans for each option, describing the expected project costs, projected attendance and revenues, and ongoing maintenance, labor and other costs associated with the renovation proposals.

This report also should include an analysis of the existing competitive environment; existing and potential user groups with their expressed facility wishes and needs; and a demographic study of the community reflecting population trends, income and other statistical evaluation of the community's potential to support the proposed facility.

This information will be invaluable, not only in helping you make an educated decision on what proposals to make, but it also will help you educate and provide background to community members and other decision-makers to help them come to a position of support for the proposals.

Ultimately, whether you decide to merely spruce up and repair your pool or take on a massive renovation or brand-new facility, it's important that you have a solid understanding of your facility's capabilities and budget, the wishes of patrons both present and potential, and a clear concept of the aquatic environment and programming your community deserves.

DIVING IN

Once you've chosen a plan of action that's right for your facility based on needs and budget, take the time to research the structural and mechanical options that will improve your pool and keep it up to code. For operational, aesthetic and safety's sake, the mechanical elements that often need attention include the pool basin, decking, gutters, filters, piping, drain covers, safety equipment, fixtures and the sanitation system.

For example, considering the pool basin itself, repair alternatives range from repainting and replastering to regrouting tile to probably the longest-lasting alternative, installing a new commercial membrane. For each option, investigate all the variables like slip-resistance, durability, installation, upkeep and life-cycle costs—not only upfront dollars but operating and maintenance expenses, both short- and long-term. Likewise, don't forget to find out about product warranties and any necessary pre-project preparation.

If you do your homework for all the key elements, the results hopefully will be a safe, clean, watertight and properly balanced pool that's a dream destination for your patrons—and a dream for your staff to operate and maintain for years to come.



  F O R   M O R E   I N F O R M A T I O N  

RenoSys Corporation 800-783-7005


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