Council gives initial approval for Donner Pool repairs

The Columbus City Council has given initial approval to allocate just over $1 million to repair a leak discovered at Donner Pool this past summer.

The council voted unanimously to pass an ordinance on first reading that, among other things, would authorize the funds. Ordinances require two readings to be approved. The second reading is expected to take place April 5.

The total price tag for the repairs is $1.075 million. Of the total, $575,000 would come from the parks general fund, with the city putting up remaining $500,000, said city finance director Jamie Brinegar.

The costs of repairing the leak include installing a new liner and removing the adjustable floor, Brinegar said.

“During the Donner Pool season, it was too late to make (the funds) part of our 2022 capital program because we didn’t know the extent of the leak and what the cost would be to repair the leak,” Brinegar said.

The Columbus Parks and Recreation Board had previously approved an appropriation of $575,000 from the parks general fund for the repairs.

Parks Associate Director of Business Services Pam Harrell said that $75,000 is for consulting fees, and $500,000 will go toward the project itself.

“We may have to close it (the pool) a little,” Harrell said earlier. “We’re planning on opening on time. But with the bid process, we’re hoping that the construction can start late July. So we may have to close a little early. It really depends on who wins the bid and what their schedule’s like.”

Associate Director of Recreation Nikki Murphy said previously that the department had planned for this and adjusted all major programming so that there won’t be a significant impact to those areas if the pool closes earlier than expected.

Parks Director Mark Jones added that parks officials had the pool inspected to make sure it’s safe to open.

“We were hoping not to have to do this project until we could do a full master plan of the Donner Aquatics Center after we were in the new NexusPark administrative space,” said Harrell. “But unfortunately, we had a major leak last year that has accelerated the need for repair.”

Officials have been working with HWC Engineering and Spear Corp. to identify the needed structural and mechanical repairs, Harrell said.