The indoor pool at the Gallatin Civic Center may not reopen until next year as the city works to repair damages that occurred while crews were performing routine maintenance earlier this year.
Crews were in the process of draining the pool when water underneath it caused the pool to shift “out of the ground,” according to David Brown, director of Gallatin Parks and Recreation.
“There was so much rain in the spring and nobody knew that water had gotten up under (the pool) from outside and from some of the hairline cracks, so when we drained it, we heard it move,” Brown said. “That busted some pipes going from the drains in the deep end and it cracked the drains in the bottom of the pool.”
The full extent of the damage was not discovered until the pool was refilled in late June and the waterline dropped six inches within a day.
The city has hired an engineering firm to develop a plan to fix the leaks and officials hopes to have a contractor chose sometime next month. Repair work could take up to six months or possibly longer to complete.
“We hope it won’t be (closed that long), but we’re just trying to manage expectations because we understand what we could potentially be facing,” Mayor Paige Brown said during a Gallatin City Council meeting on July 21. “We would rather under promise and over deliver than over promise and under deliver.”
With the total cost to repair the pool is currently unknown, officials have said it will be covered by the city’s insurance provider.
The closure has been the biggest inconvenience for local swim teams, according to David Brown. Classes that were normally held in the indoor pool are now taking place in the outdoor pool.
In June, city leaders announced that the outdoor pool would not reopen this year due to social distancing restrictions related to COVID-19 and the difficulty hiring lifeguards so late in the season. The facility, which is normally open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, had a total attendance of 30,351 last year, according to data provide by the city’s parks and recreation department.