Heights explores options after closing pool

PATTON — The Cambria Heights School Board is indefinitely shutting down the high school pool after it failed a recent inspection.

District maintenance director Drew Thomas said that after the pool was inspected by a local code enforcement agency, it was found there were several deficiencies to the pool’s structure and software.

“There are several corrections that need to be made before the pool can be placed in service again,” Thomas said.

Thomas said that correcting the pool’s issues would be “very costly,” adding that replacing sensors and other systems could cost over $9,000.

There are several other issues that need corrected, and Thomas could not estimate would the costs would be to get the pool back into working shape.

Given the repair costs and the district running low on chemicals, board members suggested shutting down the pool to “cut down on costs.”

“If nobody can go in it, we’re throwing chemicals in it and maintaining it for nothing,” board member Ken Vescovi said. “Shutting it down is the best option right now.”

With major renovations upcoming in the high school, which are expected to total more than $25 million, board members approved to drain the pool and and potentially repair it after renovations take place.

With the pool shutdown, the future of the district’s swim team remains uncertain.

The district currently operates in a co-operative program in which Penn Cambria swimmers participate with the Cambria Heights team.

With the pool closed, the district will consider ending the co-op with Penn Cambria and instead sending students to another school to swim.

“Central Cambria and Northern Cambria have both expressed interest in allowing our students to swim there,” athletic director James Kane said.

Kane said the team is able to practice at the Saint Francis University swimming pool, but the facility is not available for meets.

“They have a lot of programs over there, and there’s not enough time for us to have both games and meets there,” Kane said.

Kane will explore future opportunities for the swim team.

Thomas will determine costs required to potentially fix the pool to present at the district’s April meeting.