Aquatic Center Slated to Close for Repairs

The East Meadow-based pool is expected to be closed until the beginning of 2012 for necessary fixes.

Local novice and competitive swimmers will soon have to find another pool to use beginning on July 5.

Nassau County’s Aquatic Center, located in East Meadow’s Eisenhower Park, is scheduled to be shut down for a period of time for the county to complete repairs. The closure will begin on July 5 and work is expected to be finished in the “first quarter of 2012,” the Nassau County Parks and Recreation Department said.

The center - which is used for competitive swim meets, high school practices and competitions and casual swimming - has suffered some wear and tear over the 13 years since its construction for the Goodwill Games in 1998.

The county also stated that some of the original work on the facility was “substandard,” specifically the HVAC system, and they are going to be “pursuing litigation against some of the contractors and the state to recover costs related to the original work.” New York State supervised the initial construction of the aquatic center in 1998.

Repairs will focus on installing a new HVAC system inside the pool area, upgrading the pool’s filters, removing and replacing the roof on the building and updating the pool’s lighting, the county said.

With the Aquatic Center serving a wide range of the local swimming population, many are left wondering where they will go in the meantime. The county plans to make Cantiague Park, located in Hicksville, available for those who normally use the Aquatic Center. Cantiague’s pool is heated and will “remain open for as long as the weather allows” – beyond the normal Labor Day closure.

Legis. Norma Gonsalves (R-East Meadow) said that she has been in communication with the Parks Department to “make sure that residents will have somewhere to go while it is closed.”

“They are trying to make every effort to accommodate those who will not be able to use it during the closing,” Legis. Gonsalves said. “It’s not that they want to close it, they have to close it. They are certainly not going to leave people out in the cold – they will find alternatives.”

Lake Success resident Ben Ching, 16, is on a team that utilizes the Aquatic Center. He explained that he would be “a little bit upset” if his team did not have a place to practice once the facility shut down for repairs.

“I’m going to miss it, but they will reopen it – I hope, God willing, soon,” said Pat Noll, of Massapequa. “I am going to miss it a lot, but if it needs to be repaired, it needs to be repaired.”

It will be a dilemma, Noll continued, to find a pool to swim at in the meantime.  She said that she could go to a local pool in Massapequa or enter Echo Park as a guest since she is not a Town of Hempstead resident.

“It will be summertime so we can go to outdoor pools,” she said. “I just hope it is very temporary.”

Pam Blank May 20, 2011 at 03:40 PM
Will surely miss this pool there is no other like it to compare. Hopefully, it will be for the best...Just hope it reopens as planned with no other problems to stall it's reopening. My husband and I are retired and are there at least 4 days. After July 5 we just don't know what we will do since both of us cannot take the sun swimming in a outdoor pool. We have been using this pool since the opening and surely do love it.:( P.B.
11566 May 20, 2011 at 09:51 PM
If only it had been built correctly ....
Mark Newman June 03, 2011 at 04:03 PM
When the pool was initially built, it didn't make money, under Suozzi, management at the pool got bettre and the pool made money, but the problems with the HVAC system lingered. The current Administration is shutting the pool for needed repairs,hopefully the litigation that has been an ongoing issue for years, will cover the costs of the repairs. And hopefully the pool can go back and make money again for a cash strapped county.


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