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In this March 9 file photo, O'Neil Park Pool, 1515 W. Chestnut St., Bloomington, waits for the beginning of the swimming season later in the spring.  

BLOOMINGTON — The city will need to make state-mandated repairs to aging O'Neil Park Pool before it can open next summer.

The Illinois Department of Public Health inspected the pool and provided on Aug. 8 a list of "substantial work" that must be completed before the pool can open in 2019, Bloomington Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Director Jay Tetzloff said Friday.

Those repairs for the 45-year-old aluminum pool would total "just under $100,000," said Tetzloff.

At the City Council's work session meeting at 6 p.m. Monday at City Hall, Tetzloff will ask aldermen for direction on what they want to do with the pool and Bloomington Public Library Director Jeanne Hamilton will discuss possible expansion at the library. 

"If the pool is open for only one more year we might be able to petition the state for a few less repairs and we might get a one-year grace period, so to speak," Tetzloff said. 

The current list of needed repairs includes replacing the pool deck where it has sunken below the back of the gutter, replacing both 1-meter and 3-meter diving boards, obtaining a permit and hiring an engineer to install new certified main drain covers and a working flow meter.

Tetzloff also noted the baby pool at the park has been closed for two seasons because of maintenance issues, showers leak behind the cinder-block walls and the main pipe to the pool is corroded and needs to be replaced. 

The pool's replacement with an aquatic center is among the proposed recommendations for a rejuvenation of the park that also include a new playground, a pickle ball area, a revised skate park, a dog park, walking paths and a larger parking lot, said Tetzloff.

The pool replacement and expansion of the library were included on a list of $74.5 million worth of possible capital projects compiled by the city staff in January. The council has not decided which projects to fund and how they will be funded.

Hamilton will present to the council the newest drawings for the library's proposed expansion at its current facility at 205 E. Olive St.

In February, the library board had the Farnsworth Group develop revised drawings that depict a phased-in approach for expanding the library first and then later developing a campus with buildings for other, mixed uses.

An estimated $28.5 million would be required for the first phase, which would include doubling the size of the library from its current 57,700 square feet and adding more parking and open green space to the site, said Hamilton.

To develop the more elaborate, civic-style campus with other buildings occupied by for-profit retail stores and offices and nonprofit organizations would bring the price tag to $52 million. Hamilton said that phase probably would not be completed until 20 to 30 years down the road.

The existing building, constructed in 1976, was designed for a city with a population of 41,000. While the population has increased 87 percent the space has increased only by 25 percent with a small addition and renovation in 2006.

The building is in need of about $2 million in repairs, including replacing the roof.

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Contact Maria Nagle at (309) 820-3244. Follow her on Twitter: @Pg_Nagle

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Bloomington Reporter

Bloomington reporter for The Pantagraph.

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