Making a Splash

July 25, 2017

Making a Splash

Summer Renovations to Make OM Indoor Pool More Energy Efficient

For its 40th birthday, the Owings Mills JCC’s indoor pool is getting quite the birthday present: its first real makeover. Starting Monday, July 31 and continuing throughout the entire month of August, the pool will be shut down and will not reopen until approximately September 1. During that month, the JCC will install new roofing, new coping and tiles, a new deck, and a new motor for the pool’s fan. The goal, when renovations are finished, is to make the indoor pool more energy efficient, user friendly and flat out higher quality than it’s ever been before.

JCC Senior Aquatics Director Bill Kirkner calls the makeover “the first major aesthetic renovation” since the indoor pool first opened. Even so, it’s a renovation about six years in the making. That’s how long we’ve been working on a plan to upgrade the pool, steadily adding improvements each year. For example, last year we added a high volume low-speed fan and more energy-efficient windows and the previous year saw upgrades to the pool’s plumbing system.

With this year’s improvements set to be the most extensive yet, the Aquatics Department isn’t wasting any time getting to work once the pool closes. The very first week of the closure, crews will be installing a new roof, tiling and coping. The new roof will be much more energy efficient than its predecessor, according to Kirkner.

“That means we’ll spend less energy heating the air and the water”, Kirkner said.

The other items first up on the list of renovations are a little more cosmetic in nature, though not entirely. The pool’s deck, tiling, and coping (the term for the pre-formed concrete which serves as the pool’s ledge) will all be completely replaced. Kirkner said those changes should make the pool safer because there will be less water on the deck and make it easier to clean. But, he said, it will also just look better as well.

“The deck hasn’t been redone in 15 years and the tiling and coping are probably the original tiling and coping from 40 years ago”, Kirkner said. “So it’s just going to look a lot nicer.”

Next comes a newer, more energy efficient motor for the pool’s fan, itself installed last year to help better distribute heat, and change out the lift chair and stairs for people who have disabilities or difficulty getting in and out of the pool. We’ll also drain the pool and perform more routine maintenance as well, such as cleaning the pool and installing new drain covers.

The end result? Not just a cleaner pool or a more energy-efficient pool, though of course it will be both of these things, but also more user-friendly.

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