After receiving details about a project to resurface the Brownstown Pool, town council member C.J. Foster said there were two options.
The town could keep spending about $6,000 every other year to paint and fix concrete, or it could hire someone to install a PVC membrane system to line the pool, which would last for several years.
Even though it will cost a lot of money initially, the council members agreed that it makes the most sense to install a liner because they don’t want to have to close the pool in the future to make major repairs.
“I don’t think anybody wants to close that thing down,” Foster said.
“That’s not an option as long as I’m on the board,” council President John Nolting said.
Council member Bethany Brewster and pool manager Jamie Temple recently met with representatives from RenoSys Corp. and Natare Corp. at the pool and learned what each company would charge for a PVC membrane.
For the main pool, RenoSys quoted $53,257, while Natare came in at $54,816. RenoSys also gave the quote of $85,175 to include the leisure pool.
The council agreed to go with RenoSys and have PVC membranes placed in both pools.
“I was blown away to find out that we were going to be able to do both pools,” said Temple, who has managed the pool for three years. “It’s great they are going to do both pools. I think we’re going to see improvements just in patrons coming to see the new pool and the new liner. It’s just going to solve a lot of problems that we’ve had.”
Temple said the liner is “desperately” needed.
“We were getting to the point where in a few more years, we probably would have been at the point of maybe no return,” she said. “That’s even what the companies told us.”
The main pool opened in the 1960s, while the leisure pool, which includes a children’s area with a play feature, was added in the 1990s.
In recent years, while inspecting the pool before opening Memorial Day weekend, Temple said, parts of the walls and paint have chipped off and rust has been found. She said repairs were made, but they weren’t permanent fixes made by professionals.
“Patching and patching over time just doesn’t always work,” she said. “You just try to maintain it and keep it going so that the community still has something to use.”
Three years ago, the town spent about $300,000 to replace pumps and pipes and refurbish a slide.
The new liner comes with a 10-year warranty, but Brewster learned most pools are getting 15 to 20 years out of them.
RenoSys has installed PVC membranes all over the country, including at pools in Jasper and Indiana University in Bloomington.
Brewster received a reference letter from IU, saying RenoSys had installed liners on three of its outdoor pools. University officials said they no longer use algicide and only use chlorine in the pool, resulting in a savings of more than $12,000 per year on operating expenses.
“They still look good and perform well and withstand the outdoor elements nicely, which is important with the harsh winters and hot summers we frequently have in southern Indiana,” IU officials wrote about the PVC membranes.
Brewster said RenoSys could start the work this fall. It would begin with a pressure test of the stainless steel gutter system at the pool.
If the gutter system passes the test, the company would encapsulate it with the membrane by welding on what it calls a skirt or an apron. They would spray an antifungal agent on the concrete, put adhesive over it and place a felt slip sheet over that.
Then, the membrane, which comes in 6-foot-wide sections, would go over the slip sheet. Lane markings would be placed on the membrane.
The pool shells are crafted from a 60-millimeter-thick, custom-textured and reinforced PVC material designed to make a pool watertight.
Brewster said the play feature in the leisure pool also needs to be looked at because pieces of rust are flaking off and going into the water. RenoSys officials said they would put her in contact with a company to look at the feature.
Temple said the leisure pool and play feature are big draws for pool patrons, who come from Jackson and surrounding counties.
This summer, the pool’s average daily attendance was about 115, with more than 200 on the busiest days, Temple said. The pool closes each year the weekend before school starts.