The latest installment of a series of ongoing upgrades at Devon Pool recently was unveiled by the city's Parks and Recreation Department.
As a highlight of the opening of the 2019 swim season, Upper Arlington officials cut the ribbon on an approximately $1.28 million, 2,550-square-foot bathhouse.
The bathhouse includes larger restrooms, new shower facilities, a family restroom, concessions and a storage area. It also is accessible to people with physical disabilities, which the old bathhouse was not, and replaced a nearly 60-year-old building that was 1,400 square feet and said to be badly deteriorating.
"The old concession stand had a dirt floor," said Charissa Durst, president of Clintonville-based Hardlines Design Co., which designed the project under an $91,814 contract. "The old bathhouse people had described to me as dirty, dingy and too small.
"This is new and fresh and clean, and a lot roomier."
The new bathhouse is part of a series of improvements the city has brought to Devon Pool in recent years; others are scheduled after this season.
A new stainless-steel gutter system and stainless-steel walls in the pool over the existing concrete walls were installed before the pool opened in 2017. That project cost about $528,200.
Before the 2018 season, $100,933 worth of new deck furniture and shade structures was added.
Following this season, the city plans to replace two mechanical buildings. Upper Arlington City Council already has approved an $84,253 contract with Hardlines to design those buildings.
Hardlines also will assess the toddler pool, which was built when the pool was constructed in the 1930s and renovated in 1973. The company also will determine if the rubberized surface atop the main pool walls, which extend about 8 inches into the pool deck, need to be replaced.
City officials said the series of work is an effort to put the pool on par with the Reed Road Water Park and Tremont Pool.
"The new pool house facility provides a significant upgrade for the Devon Pool visitor," parks and recreation Director Debbie McLaughlin said. "The facilities enhance the services through new amenities, including ADA-accessible restrooms and showers, lockers, a family restroom, natural light, concession facilities capable of providing an extended menu and accessible from the deck, office space to serve customers, first aid room, staff accommodations, updated technology for customer transactions, speaker system for announcements and Wi-Fi for guests.
"The building exterior finishes were designed to fit within the historic district, and the fence line was expanded for larger grass area to serve customers. These improvements continue the city's commitment to invest into our infrastructure and improve the experience for our customers."
Durst said the work that's already been completed, including the addition of a staff restroom in the new office built into the bathhouse and a first-aid room, were on the city's wish list for years.
"All of these areas are now handicapped-accessible," she said, "especially the concession stand. It was truly not accessible because you had to step up into it, and it was tiny."
When the new mechanical buildings are constructed, an ornamental fence around Devon's perimeter also will be installed.
"(The city) also is still trying to determine if they want to replace the toddler pool as-is, or as part of a more active space," Durst said.