Pool project keeping eye on the past
Albany aims to preserve popular site’s bowl shape
A $262,500 state grant will help Albany craft a design to upgrade the Lincoln Park pool — and stop the iconic swimming facility from leaking 500,000 gallons a day — while maintaining its distinctive bowl shape.
Forums on the Lincoln Park master plan have included discussions about the pool’s future. After taking comments from residents, Albany officials will now concentrate on a design to replace the pool, said Ann Marie Salmon, Albany’s deputy commissioner of administrative services.
“At the first meeting, we gave the public opportunity to give us reactions on various general shape designs,” Salmon said. “By and large, we heard overwhelmingly that they really like the bowl shape.”
The results of those conversations will be presented to the public at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Thomas O’brien Academy of Science and Technology auditorium in Albany.
The 300-foot-wide, decades-old pool situated in the city’s South End has lost water since it opened in 1931, studies show. The considerable amount it now loses is a cause for concern as priorities shift to water preservation, conservation and clean energy.
In recent years, city engineers evaluated the pool’s structure to get a better handle on why it leaks and how leakage can be stopped. Salmon said these early studies will be folded into the design plans. Albany would then advertise a request for proposal to solicit bids for the project.
Despite the work that lies ahead for the iconic pool, it will be open this summer, Salmon said.
And when residents go to enjoy the Lincoln Park pool this year, users are expected to be able to connect to free wireless internet. Through a partnership
with the Albany Public Library and the city’s recreation department, Lincoln Park will be the first of three city parks to be connected to Wi-fi.
The other two parks that are expected to be have Wi-fi capability installed are B lee ck er swinburne and Washington parks.
Lincoln Park is also the site of a planned $45 million sewer facility – a project that has shifted in design since it was originally proposed to make it less intrusive and address public concerns. The facility is part of the park’s master plan, which also includes improving park equipment.
“We understand how important this pool is as part of the overall plan for Lincoln park,” Salmon said. “This project is really looking forward to rebuilding it in partnership with what the community wants.”
Albany’s Lincoln Park pool is due for an overhaul. The city, which received a grant from the state to go toward the project, is ready to concentrate on a design that will keep its iconic bowl shape.