A popular swimming pool in the Saratoga Spa State Park is closing early next week. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports New York officials will begin a $2.9 million renovation.
Peerless Pool is one of two swimming pools in Saratoga Spa State Park, and during the early part of the summer season it’s not uncommon for more than a thousand visitors to check in on a busy day.
The complex includes an Olympic-size pool, children’s wading pool, and waterslides.
But the season will be cut short this year. The pool is closing for the year on Sunday and on Monday the state will begin a multimillion dollar plan to modernize the more than 50-year-old bathhouse at the facility.
Randy Simons is a spokesman for the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. He says the old concrete structure needs a facelift.
“Because what we want to do is take out all that concrete. We want to create more green space around the pool so a family can come in and throw their blanket down next to the pool on some grass. You’re gonna have a picnic pavilion that’s available for public rental. You’re going to have shade canopies,” said Simons.
There will also be a new entrance plaza and better sightlines for lifeguards, and the new bathhouse will be about a third smaller.
But the construction schedule has angered some of the pool’s users.
Louise Goldstein, a founder of the Save the Victoria Pool group, worried the construction may take longer than expected. She spoke on NewsChannel 13.
“They could easily take two years. We’re not in Florida, we’re not in California. We basically have two months of summer,” said Goldstein.
Simons explained that an earlier plan to close the Peerless Pool for the entire 2017 season was scrapped. He said the early closure is needed to allow construction before the snow falls.
“The construction schedule is extremely tight,” said Simons. “We’re talking about an unpredictable Northeast winter that we always have. And what we need to do is we need to get the building demolished, we need to lay a whole new foundation, we need to put up a whole new structure, the framework and the walls, and we need to put a roof on that structure before the winter sets in.”
Simons said the goal is to complete the project before the pool season next June.
Saratoga Springs Mayor Joanne Yepsen said she’s happy to see the state recognize the pool project as a priority and improve it for future generations of local families.
“So with that closing, we certainly want our families and our children to able to swim at other locations. And I’m glad that the state parks has also agreed to let our local families swim at the Victoria Pool, another beautiful state pool, for a reduced price,” said Yepsen.
After the Peerless Pool closes, admission to Victoria Pool will be reduced to match Peerless: one dollar for kids and two for adults.
Swimming will also be extended at the Victoria Pool past Labor Day. It will remain open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through September 17th.