By Mickey Winfield: PNT Staff Writer
Parents of young children hoping to escape the heat of the summer will have to wait until next summer to be able to take advantage of an all new baby pool at Portales’ city pool.
The complete redesign of the baby pool began about a month ago, and is just the beginning of what is an extreme makeover of the entire pool facility, according to city officials.
Portales building inspector and planning and zoning director Sammy Standefer said the zero-entry baby pool should be completed by November, and that project will be followed by several other renovation phases on the pool site including the bath house and possibly the main pool itself.
The state health department shut down Portales’ baby pool last May because of safety concerns.
According to Standefer, the system used to filter and pump the pool that violated current environmental regulations.
“There was no way to really do that feasibly cheap, it was easier to just start all over,” Standefer said. “We had to address some needs and (in doing so), we needed to redesign the entire baby pool.”
Sherissa Roybal occasionally comes to the pool with her 2-year-old daughter Yliana, and said the renovation has caused her some headaches.
“Especially since they don’t allow floaties, it’s kind of hard (for her to swim with us),” Roybal said. “The baby pool would be safer for her because it’s so shallow.”
The pool was last renovated 1n 1972, and according to pool officials, the current master plan is estimated at costing around $3 million, between $300,000 to $400,000 of which has been funded by the state.
Pool staff estimate that around 200 Portales youngsters use the pool each day during the summer.