As schools break for the year releasing local youths into the community in search of something to do, and hot summer temperatures begin to arrive, thoughts of heading to the local pool are bound to follow.
But at this point there are no pools in the Globe-Miami area, so the Town of Miami, with some help from local philanthropic organizations, has focused resources on bridging the pool gap with much-needed repairs to Hostetler Community Pool in time for the Memorial Day weekend rush.
To that end, in March the town contracted the services of Dolphin Pool Maintenance in Mesa for approximately $110,000 in repairs to the pool and its attendant facilities, with a target opening date of May 19.
The pool needed complete resurfacing and the chlorinator needed to be replaced, along with structural repairs that included replacing two steel beams and the diving board, as well as refinishing 5,720 square feet of decking around the pool.
Work commenced near the end of March, but at the April 23 town council meeting, Miami Town Manager Joe Heatherly announced there had been a snag in the repairs and there would be a delay opening the pool. After taking off “lots of layers of paint,” the contractor found several large cracks that halted the project in its tracks.
“They grinded out the old paint and found a lot of big cracks,” Heatherly said. “They can’t just plaster over them.”
The solution consisted of pouring a 3-inch concrete shell in the pool that added about $14,000 to the repairs. There was contingency money worked into the budget, but the time it takes for the concrete to cure added two to three weeks to the process.
Now the clock is ticking and Heatherly hopes to get the pool open in time for Memorial Day weekend.
At this point, Hostetler will be the only public pool in the area sufficient to handle the crush when the holiday rolls around, as the pool at the Globe Community Center is inoperable and the status of the Country Club pool is unclear.
Problems at the Cobre Valley Country Club, renamed the Cobre Valley Recreational Center in February, led Freeport-McMoRan to take over management in February in an attempt to get the facility up to snuff by the time summer rolls around.
Information on the pool’s status was not available at press time.
The Miami pool repairs are expected to last four to five years as efforts to build an aquatic center for the area continue to move forward in fits and starts.
The nascent Cobre Valley Aquatic Center (CVRAC) hit snags of its own earlier this year, when a tax bill to fund that project died in committee as Globe city officials and the nonprofit CVRAC attempted to get it on the November ballot.
“We haven’t given up yet,” CVRAC Chair Evelyn Vargas said. “We don’t consider it dead: this is important to our community.”
BHP Billiton has offered to donate approximately 19 acres between Judy’s Cookhouse and Vonnie’s Pizza at the corner of Highway 60 and Russell Road for a pool and recreation center, but it will be up to the state legislature — and ultimately the voters of Gila County — to get construction underway.
The project has been in the works for four years, and if it can make it to the voters next year, the project will still take several years to build. Total construction costs and permitting costs for the project are estimated to be more than $7 million, with operations in the $500,000 range annually.
But the benefits to the community will far outweigh those costs, according to project advocates, as it would be both an economic and health boon for the entire community, creating a regional draw and a place for residents to get regular exercise.
CVRAC estimates the tax would be about $64 per year based on the assessed value of homes in the would-be district.
The proposed aquatic center came as the result of the Globe Community Center pool’s closure in 2014. The pool, built in the late-1950s, was in severe disrepair and had structural problems from the outset and was cost-prohibitive to repair.
As to Hostetler, the repairs should last five years and would act as a bridge to CVRAC, should that project come to fruition.
Funding for the Hostetler repairs come in large part from the United Fund of Globe-Miami. UF contributed about $70,000, while substantial contributions will come from BHP, Capstone, Cobre Valley Regional Medical Center (CVRMC), CCYS (Copper Cities Youth Sports), Freeport-McMoRan, Gila County, Globe Rotary and Resolution Copper.
Anyone interested in supporting CVRAC efforts can contact Vargas at 928-402-1141, Sherry Dorathy at 928-425-3271, or Bryan Seppala at 928-812-0098.