Portales getting set to remodel swimming hole

By Michael Harrell: PNT Staff Writer

Plans to renovate the Portales Municipal Pool are under way with the money received from the 2006 New Mexico Legislature. With even more money than what was requested, the plans are substantial.

The aging of the almost 40-year-old pool has become a real problem. Passing Environmental Improvement Division examination has become tougher, according to Portales Parks and Recreation Superintendent Mack Tucker.

The city received $390,000 for the renovations.

“The money enables us to replace some parts and take the stress away from working so hard to keep the pool in code,” Portales City Manager Debi Lee said.

The final product will consist of an entire reformation of the foundation. The overall mechanical system of the pool is the first thing that will be replaced to keep it up to code. A completely new bathhouse and pool are some of the biggest plans being discussed.

It will take three to five years to complete the work, which is set to begin after the pool closes this season. Each phase of the renovations will be done during off-seasons. The first phase, which will be completed by next summer, calls for a new water world in place of the old kiddie pool.

Sen. Stuart Ingle of Portales is due much of the credit in receiving the money for the renovations, according to Lee.
During the 30-day legislative session that ended in February, he made a point to comment on the city’s plans for the pool’s improvement.

“When we met with him and the area legislators, there were lots of comments about the plans,” Lee said. “We ended up actually receiving more money than we requested.”
The city requested $300,000.

About 200 to 250 people a day use the pool, which has been around since 1967, according to Tucker. Minor renovations have been made since then, he added.

The use of the pool is most important to local school kids, who populate the waters from open to close every day, Tucker said.