TEXAS CITY — College of the Mainland’s pool is closed and in need of repairs. The college’s trustees will decide whether the 42-year-old pool is worth repairing.
The pool was closed at the end of the semester in May after the heater broke, college President Beth Lewis said.
The heater is vital, particularly in an indoor pool, because it helps keep bacteria levels low, she said.
According to a rough estimate, replacing the heater could cost about $240,000 — and that is just one of 14 repairs that must be made. The total repair costs could be nearly $300,000, Lewis said.
The annual operating costs for the pool are about $144,000, she said.
Additionally, the pool is leaking about 2,500 gallons of water a day, and the leak or leaks haven’t been found because the water pipes are under the pool itself, she said.
“We’ve already spent $2,500 looking for the leak,” she said.
The pool will remain closed until the repairs are made — or it could be closed permanently and the college could look to use the city’s natatorium for the college’s water classes, Lewis said.
According to data provided by the college, 624 people signed up for various swimming and exercises classes in the pool during the summer and fall of 2013 and the spring of 2014. There also were about 150 visitors who used the pool weekly during those past three semesters, according to the college data. The pool brought in about $38,000 from fees paid by those using the pool.
College trustee Nick Stepchinski said he believed the number of people using the pool is low because of its deteriorated condition.
“The pool is not in the condition it has been in before, and we’ve kind of been patching it when we could,” he said. “But imagine if the pool was in really great shape. How many more people would use it?”
The pool is popular with seniors, and Stepchinski said he believed it was worth keeping open as long as the repair costs were not unbearable.
“We need to try to find a way to make it work,” he said.
Board Chairman Roney McCrary said the trustees will get a chance to tour the pool at 9 a.m. Monday during a workshop. Trustees will meet later that day in a regular meeting, he said.
“This is just one more issue that you deal with with an aging facility,” McCrary said.