The estimated cost of repairing Fort Worth’s historic Forest Park Pool is about $830,000, and a local foundation’s gift toward the cost is $500,000, the city staff estimated in a report to City Council members.
It was the first time the city had published the estimated cost of the repairs and The Radler Foundation’s gift.
City Council members are scheduled to vote Tuesday on authorizing the Radler agreement and accepting the grant. The pool, on Fort Worth’s Near South Side, is scheduled to re-open next May.
The famly foundation, which was founded by oil and gas man Michael Radler and lists Christian outreach as its mission in federal filings, has been reserved in its remarks about the grant.
"Our goal in working with the city of Fort Worth on the Forest Park pool repair and reopening is to establish a template for private companies and foundations to use as they seek to make a difference in Fort Worth," Rienke Radler, a board member, said in a statement Monday.
"This particular partnership with The Radler Foundation will serve thousands of children and young adults in Fort Worth offering them a healthy, active summer outlet," Radler said.
The city announced in late July that it would re-open the pool, built in 1922 and closed in 2010 due to the failure of its 18-year-old liner, with the help of a substantial gift from the foundation.
At the time, the city estimated its portion of the cost could go as high as $200,000. The city’s share, which will come from Fort Worth’s Capital Projects Reserve Fund, is now estimated at $330,000, the staff report said.
That’s after engineering and research, Richard Zavala, the city’s parks director, said Monday.
"We now have actual construction documents," he said.
Councilman Joel Burns, whose district includes the pool, praised the foundation for its financial gift and donating its "time and expertise."
"They not only wrote the check, a very generous check, but they’ve been very involved in the engineering," Burns said.
The estimated repair cost is a far cry from the $2.9 million estimated cost of refurbishment estimated in a 2007 city swimming pool audit.
Zavala said that estimate included the replacement of the pool’s filtration system, decking, liner, and bathhouse. That project would have had a 20-30-year life, Zavala said.
The key component of the planned project is the repair of the liner, which will have an estimated 15-year life, he said.
"This is a repair project," he said.
Under the Radler agreement, the foundation’s contribution will be capped at $500,000 – two thirds of a total $750,000. Anything beyond the $500,000 is the city’s share, the staff report said.
If the project comes in at less than a total $750,000, Radler would receive two thirds of the savings, the report said.
The project also will include repairs to the mechanical and filtration systems. The deck next to the popular wading pool will be expanded by 4,000 to 5,000 square feet.
One of the diving boards will be replaced, as will the structure for the high dive. The curved slide will be replaced, and the deck around it expanded. The project will also include new furniture and umbrellas.
The old bathhouse will remain in its current condition.
The city, citing budget issues, closed several city pools in 2009, with the Forest Park Pool - the largest - closing a year later. The Marine Creek Pool reopened for this summer, but closed after the season and is being demolished to make way for a new aquatic center under construction nearby.
- Scott Nishimura, Star-Telegram Fort Worth City Hall reporter