Grove City's Big Splash will mark its 20th anniversary when it opens for the summer May 25.

In the meantime, the city is planning a project to complete restoration work that will enable the aquatic facility to be in tip-top shape when it reaches its 21st birthday and for years to come.

The work that will be done is typical for a pool that has been in use for two decades, said Tim Baker, recreation supervisor at the Big Splash.

"All the wear and tear it receives, it just needs some sprucing up," he said. "It's like your house. You want to address these type of issues proactively before they become more serious and expensive to fix."

Routine maintenance is ongoing, and unexpected issues are addressed as they arise, but this is the first comprehensive refurbishing the Big Splash has received since it opened in 1999, Baker said.

The work will include replacing the water jets arrayed around the interior of the pool, Baker said.

"The jets are where the water comes back into the pool (after being filtered), and some of them are beginning to look a little shabby," he said. "We want to replace those before we do the resurfacing work," Baker said.

The pool floor will be resurfaced, and the coping stones capping the pool walls around the perimeter of the pool will be replaced, he said.

The jet replacement and resurfacing is expected to be completed before the Big Splash opens this year, Baker said. Its season will run through Labor Day, Sept. 2.

The coping-stone work might wait until fall, he said.

Other tasks will include repairing surface cracks and pool joints, tile work and replacing the pool seal.

Any work started in the spring will be completed before the pool opens for the summer, Baker said.

"The project won't have any impact on the season at all, except people might notice parts of the pool looking brand new," he said.

The project is "actually a little boring. We're not adding any new features to the pool," Baker said. "But it's the kind of work you need to do to so people can continue to enjoy the pool for the next 20 or 25 years."

All told, the project is expected to cost about $450,000, he said.

Bids from contractors are due by 10 a.m. Friday, March 29.

Grove City plans to select a contractor within a week after bids are received based on the lowest and best bid, Baker said.

"We want to get it started as quickly as possible," he said. "This is the busy time for contractors because every pool is looking to get their repair work done at the same time."

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