Closing Gahanna's pools during pandemic opened door for needed maintenance

Marla K. Kuhlman
ThisWeek group
A new splash pad is being installed at the Gahanna Swimming Pool, 148 Parkland Drive. The water feature is expected to be ready for the 2022 pool season, with construction occurring throughout 2021.

For all the negative effects COVID-19 had on last year's swimming season, it at least provided an opportunity in Gahanna.

It allowed time for maintenance.

While Gahanna parks and recreation facilities were closed as a result of the pandemic last year, a variety of needed facility maintenance tasks were completed at the Gahanna Swimming Pool, 148 Parkland Drive, and Hunters Ridge Pool, 341 Harrow Blvd.

Brian Gill-Huston, recreation superintendent, said dedicated dollars from Issue 12 that was approved in May 2019 provided most of the funding for the maintenance projects. The issue changed the city’s income-tax rate from 1.5% to 2.5%.

Among projects completed during the hiatus:

• The boiler was replaced at the Gahanna Swimming Pool’s back pool and at the Hunters Ridge Pool.

• Filtration sand was replaced for the Hunters Ridge Pool’s filtration system.

• The Gahanna Swimming Pool slide's water pressure was improved. Work was completed to increase the water-flow rate to the amenity. The back pool also received new gutter grating.

• Diving-board stands were replaced. Two completely new diving-board stands and fulcrums were added to Hunters Ridge and the Gahanna Swimming Pool back pool for a total of four.

“The support of the community has been amazing, and we are excited to be able to complete some of these projects in preparation for the 2021 season,” Gill-Huston said.

Stephania Bernard-Ferrell, Gahanna parks and recreation director, said a restroom renovation will occur at a facility that's outside the Gahanna Swimming Pool for use during the 2022 pool season. 

“The restroom renovation is specific to a restroom that has been closed for over 15 years," she said. "This will provide a great option for restroom and locker-room needs when the splash pad is open outside of the pool season. The restroom will also serve as a rest station for trail use.” 

Gill-Huston said the installation of the new splash pad will occur this year, and the city is excited to add another amenity for families and young visitors.

Bernard-Ferrell said splash pads provide an interactive way for children and families to play in the water, especially in the hotter summer months.  

“The features of the splash pad will allow movement and encourage imaginative play appropriate for a wide range of children of all abilities,” she said. “We are excited to share the splash pad design coming to the Gahanna Swimming Pool for the entirety of the 2022 pool season.”

Bernard-Ferrell said the installation will continue throughout the 2021 pool season and the construction won’t cause any delays or closures to the amenities or operations of the pool this season. 

Gill-Huston said he hopes all the updates will continue to improve the visitors' experience at the facilities.  

Alan Little, parks and recreation project manager, said a lot of projects at the aquatics facilities have been completed over the past several months.  

“Although some of these improvements aren’t as exciting as the new splash pad, they all play an important role into the preventative maintenance of the facilities and overall efficiency of the operations.”

As far as maintenance, Gill-Huston said, the department doesn’t anticipate any challenges because of last year’s closing, but like every year, each pool and facility has to be reassessed once the reopening process begins, with cleaning and testing throughout the process.  

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla