Home Latest Stories Ocean City Aquatic Center Pool to be Modernized

Ocean City Aquatic Center Pool to be Modernized

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A renovation project will overhaul the 1970s-era swimming pool.

By MADDY VITALE

The Ocean City Aquatic & Fitness Center pool has been a favorite place in the community for avid swimmers, competitors and for swim lessons.

But after 46 years of use, the six-lane, 25-meter, indoor pool is showing its age. The facility is in need of modernization, including repairs to a leaky drainage system and repairs to the pool walls, among other issues.

“Due to years of heavy usage, age of the pool and various other structural and environmental factors,” the pool is in “dire need of substantial maintenance and repair,” according to a memo from Dan Kelchner, the city’s director of Community Services, provided in the City Council packet for its meeting on June 27.

Council went ahead and approved a resolution allowing the city to advertise for construction bids to modernize the pool, which is located inside the Ocean City Community Center.

When a bond ordinance was approved in the fall for various city construction projects, the city estimated that the pool renovation would cost roughly $2.5 million.

Swimmers showcase their athletic talents for a crowd during the Special Olympics Area 8 meet in 2022. (Photo courtesy of Ocean City)

Mayor Jay Gillian said in a statement Friday that the pool repairs are a priority of the city.

“The pool is 46 years old now, and the drain beneath it is failing. This repair has been on our radar for many years now, and it’s reached a point where it must be completed,” he emphasized. “Because we have to close and drain the pool, we’re going to take the opportunity to complete all necessary repairs at the same time.”

The city has hired Integrated Aquatics Engineering for planning and design services.

The pool would be closed for four to six weeks beginning as soon as early August for the repairs. Members of the Aquatic & Fitness Center will have the opportunity to freeze their memberships during the pool closure, Gillian noted.

Kelchner outlined the specific repairs that would be completed in the project.

“The primary issues that the city plans to address include replacement of the pool’s failing main drain decking repair, surface drainage improvements and repairs to the pool walls,” he said.

“Assuming there are no issues or delays throughout the public bidding process, we anticipate the pool renovations to take place beginning on or around Aug. 1,” Kelchner said. “The project is slated for a four to six week timeline and is projected to be finalized on or around Sept. 15.”

He further explained that the timeline was developed to minimize disruptions to swimmers, pool programming and to be completed prior to the start of the 2024-25 competitive swim season.

The Ocean City High School Red Raiders swimmers use the pool for some of their meets.