The City of Jacksonville is looking to go big on a renovation of the Nichols Park Pool that’s been 3 years in the making.
The City Council voted in October of last year to match $400,000 from the state OSLAD program to make the Nichols Park Community Pool more of a destination. Ward 2 Alderwoman Lori Large-Oldenettel discussed with the Parks & Lakes Committee that maybe the work can be expanded to offer even more at the pool by utilizing some under used portions of the complex to make it even more attractive to families.
Engineer of Benton & Associates Greg Hillis says that the possibility of a splash pad is under discussion: “There is some excessive concrete to the northwest of the existing pool. The discussion was could we utilize that in a better way. During discussions, a splash pad was brought up, and it made logical sense to use that area and transform it into some usable space, so it’s not what it is today.”
The addition of the splash pad to the space would add an additional $680,000 to the entire renovation project. Oldenettel suggested that the city look at using a portion of their allocated American Rescue Plan Act funding to cover the additional cost to add the feature to the pool.
Hillis says the original scope of the renovation at the pool is going to shut down the pool next summer anyway: “Right now, we are looking at replacing the gutter system – removing and replacing it with a new stainless steel gutter system around the pool. Remove the existing dive and install a new one. We have to upgrade the existing surge tank. It is not big enough to meet today’s standards. We are also going to put in a new zero-depth entry into the main pool. Then, we are also going to install a family entry and restroom so if a family comes in small children don’t have to split off into different change rooms and bathrooms. They can all enter the pool through the family restroom. We are also going to sandblast and paint the pool, as well.”
The City Council is expected to revisit the proposal for the pool at the next city council meeting.