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Lake Worth Beach commissioners ready to dive into deeper, pricier swimming pool design

DESIGN A DEEPER multi-use public swimming pool, Lake Worth Beach city commissioners told a consultant eight months ago.

On Aug. 15, a new rectangular design for a deeper and more expensive oceanfront swimming pool will be presented to commissioners.

This one has depths ranging from 3 feet to 10 feet, starting with the shallowest section on the north end of the pool and the deepest sarees at the south end, according to an architectural rendering in the commission’s agenda.

The previous version, presented to the commission Dec. 6, called for a $12 million pool no more than 4 feet deep. That drew sharp criticism from commissioners, who a few days later at an agenda-review meeting questioned why CPZ Architects would design such a shallow pool to replace the city’s shuttered public pool at the beach casino.

The shuttered pool, opened in 1971, is Olympic size with diving boards and a 12-foot diving well in the center and a depth of 3.6 feet at the ends. The city closed the pool in 2017 because of leaks, failing equipment and the high cost to repair it.

Replacing that pool has been a challenge, with various commissions over the years debating the cost, design and location.

Since 2015, the city has spent $347,058 on pool consultants. Of that amount, $320,000 has gone to CPZ since 2018 for pool designs.

If commissioners finally settle on a design Aug. 15, they’ll face another challenge: How to pay for the new pool. They also have to determine the pool's operating costs.

In December, city officials said they had about $6 million set aside for the construction: $5 million from the penny sales tax and $1 million from the federal American Rescue Plan Act. The city might also consider a private-public partnership to build the pool.

The design commissioners will consider Aug. 15 includes a splash pad, tiki bar and cabanas. The pool would be built to accommodate water sports, water aerobics, swimming lessons and lap swimming, according to a staff report.

“To more effectively determine the cost of construction and maintenance for a new pool, it is important to understand the desired pool elements (programs/activities, pool design, and features),’’ a staff report said.

“According to CPZ Architects, Inc., the cost of the updated conceptual design is about $16 million (similar to the previously presented designs). The estimated pool construction pricing structure depends on the base pool concept and the desired pool features.

The meeting starts at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

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About the author

Joe Capozzi is an award-winning reporter based in Lake Worth Beach. He spent more than 30 years writing for newspapers, mostly at The Palm Beach Post, where he wrote about the opioid scourge, invasive pythons, the birth of the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches and Palm Beach County government. For 15 years, he covered the Miami Marlins baseball team. Joe left The Post in December 2020. View all posts by Joe Capozzi.


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