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Prospect Pool’s future uncertain

Facility’s daily water loss was about 69,000 gallons

Despite an outpouring of community support last spring that helped ensure that Prospect Pool would open for the summer, the facility’s long-term future remains uncertain.

The uncertainty became evident Thursday in a discussion that followed a revelation that the pool was losing about a foot of water every day, despite the re-caulking of joints in the concrete before the season started.

The leakage was actually just as bad before the repairs, and the water isn’t coming from the filter house or visible piping, which may indicate the loss is happening in a 40-foot run of pipes buried

12 feet deep between the pool and filter house, according to information shared by commission Executive Director Mike Hofer.

If the leakage is coming from the pool itself, a full liner or resurfacing might be needed, Hofer said.

Calculations using measurements from a satellite photo, coupled with the scale bar on the photo, indicate the daily loss was about 69,000 gallons.

“Hemorrhaging,” said commission Chairman Jesse Ickes, a city councilman.

Commission members will “need to come together” to determine what to do about the situation, Ickes said.

“It’s no secret the pool will need serious infrastructure upgrades,” Ickes said.

It’s too early to say whether officials may again consider giving up on the pool as too costly to upgrade, said commissioner Ed Frontino, a Logan Township supervisor.

Hofer has begun discussions about the pool with city Public Works Director Nate Kissell and City Manager Omar Strohm, a member of the commission.

For a while last year, pessimism dominated talks about Prospect.

Part of that pessimism was due to difficulties finding applicants for lifeguard, largely because of a lack of certification courses.

That problem was solved with the help of the Altoona Area School District, which restarted the courses, a local business, which donated money to pay for them and the commission itself, which raised lifeguard wages.

Helping to wash away the pessimism was also community sentiment, which flowed in favor of Prospect.

That became clear at a forum for City Council candidates in the primary election, with everyone running supporting the pool’s long-term survival.

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 814-949-7038.

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