City to spend $35,000 repairing faulty work on pool

Posted: Wednesday, January 12, 2000

Juneau's Augustus Brown Swimming Pool is going to close again so a project that shut it down last fall can be fixed.

Tiles installed in shower and locker rooms between July and September will have to be ripped out because the grouting just won't do, said Parks and Recreation Director Kim Kiefer. The tiles include designs by local children who entered a special Parks and Rec contest so their art would be on the locker-room walls.

``The grouting was not done correctly and the walls were not level,'' Kiefer said. ``It's just not up to our standards.''

The city's engineering department has put the job out for bid. The work will cost an estimated $35,000 and includes demolishing the existing wall and base tile and replacing it with new tile, along with some miscellaneous, related work.

The grouting work just wasn't up to snuff, said pool manager Dave Lewis. ``If you don't get it right, bacteria and mildew get in behind there and you just can't get it out.''

Lewis estimated the pool might have to be shut down three weeks for the job - some time between mid-April and early May.

Last fall's shutdown was longer because that $85,000 project included additional work, including scraping out the pool's filtration tanks.

A special feature of those renovations came about as a result of a contest among local kids ages 6 to 18. Fifty boys and 50 girls were chosen, and each painted a 6-inch-square tile, Lewis said.

The children's designs included drawings of their siblings, the Mount Roberts tram, an Alaska flag, squirrels and salmon.

``Unfortunately, those tiles will be destroyed when we remove them,'' parks chief Kiefer said. She said the contest will be repeated so Juneau's kids will be able to participate in the project all over again.

Other work to be done this time around includes re-application of an abrasive epoxy on existing floor tiles. ``Some of the abrasiveness has worn off and needs to be re-applied,'' Lewis said. ``It's warranty work.''

Some pool users have complained about scrapes from the epoxy, but officials said it is needed to prevent falls on slippery floors.

Juneau swimmers concerned about last fall's post-renovation price hikes should know there may well be another boost in admission and rental fees soon, Kiefer said. But those increases will be in conjunction with an ongoing, budget-conscious review of Parks and Rec's costs and income, and will not be directly connected with the repairs.

As to who will spring for the new tiles and repair work, City Attorney Barbara Clayburn was curt: ``We are trying to settle it.''



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