City officials discuss future of Potawatomi Pool

Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 11:38 PM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - South Bend Parks officials are considering not repairing Potawatomi Pool but rather replacing it as part of a grander plan for the park.

The pool was closed last summer, as the 67-year-old equipment needs many repairs.

Specialists studied the pool and found that the deck is in poor shape; some of the finishes are aging; the pool is losing 14,000 gallons of water a day; the piping is compromised; and there is degrading concrete and several cracks.

“So, we kind of understand fully what pieces and parts are obsolete. What pieces and parts need to be totally replaced and redone...the pool has met its end of life,” said Executive Director of Venues Parks & Arts Aaron Perri.

Cast iron piping would need to be replaced to get a few more years out of the pool.

This short-term plan would cost $2 million.

The board, however, is considering a $6 million long-term plan.

“Do we want an eight-lap Olympic size pool? Do we want a smaller product?...And that this presents us with an opportunity. An opportunity to study aquatics city wide, and understand what is the landscape of aquatics not only at Potawatomi Park, but Kennedy Park, where we have a water playground. At the YMCA where we lost a pool as a community a few years ago...,” said Perri.

Perri said they will work on a masterplan and look at ways to invest in the next evolution of Potawatomi Park.

“Potawatomi Park as a whole is deserving of a masterplan process. There’s some elements within Potawatomi Park that we know are challenging in terms of parking and traffic patterns and the conservatory,” said Perri.

They are asking the community for patience.

“While the pool is closed, we will have to rely on some of our partners and be creative as a community. We are already talking to the schools about how we can perhaps access or share some of the pool resources during this down time as well,” said Perri.

The board will have more meetings about this after the new year.