The district’s Board of Education has approved seeking bids for repairs — replacing damaged concrete and tile, and re-grouting the pool — adding a lift, updating lighting and a $5,000 contingency. Based on estimates, it’s expected to cost about $210,000.
The district is waiting until the fall to seek bids because the market will be more favorable and they hope to get a better price, said Jeff Grove, the district’s operations director.
Once the school board reviews the bids, it will decide whether or not to approve moving forward and award a bid, said board President Dave Hazekamp.
Board Vice President Kris Cole said he feels that the pool is an asset to the community, and the repairs they’re getting quotes for are minimal to get the pool in working order while trying to remain fiscally responsible.
About 1,000 people use the pool each year — for swim lessons, water aerobics classes, athletic teams for conditioning, classes for recreation and physical fitness.
The pool at Fruitport Middle School was built in 1969. It generates about $14,000 a year, but it costs about $46,600 to operate. The difference comes from the district’s general fund.
Last month, the community provided feedback to address the pool. Hazekamp said it was enlightening to hear from the community because they learned people also use it for rehabilitation purposes in addition to the other uses.
One community member expressed interest in seeing the pool remain because it provides children with the opportunity to learn how to swim, which is important given the proximity to Lake Michigan and other bodies of water, Hazekamp said.
The district is in talks with agencies that would bring more exposure to the pool and other Fruitport Community Schools facilities, Hazekamp said.
Cole said he would like to see the pool be functional and used more, and possibly work with other organizations to use the facility.
If approved, the repairs could be one step among many that would help bring the pool up to the caliber they would ultimately like to see, Hazekamp said.
“We’re really looking long term on this one,” he said.