One big pool of uncertainty
By DREW KERR
Published: Thursday, June 26, 2008
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Summer swim season arrives Saturday when the doors to the Victoria Pool at Saratoga Spa State Park are opened for the first time this year.
But the Peerless Pool, just up the road in the park, will remain shuttered as park staff continue to repair its floor and sides.
Park Manager Michael Greenslade said Wednesday the pool is getting a new rubber membrane and paint job to seal water leaks.
He said the new coating has to be done gradually and allowed several days to dry.
Work on the $163,000 overhaul began in May, but recent rain has prevented workers from getting the job done in time for the scheduled opening, Greenslade said.
When the pool will open is still weather-dependent, but Greenslade said he wants the work done "as soon as possible."
Visitors expecting a dip at Peerless may opt to visit the Victoria Pool, but it’s likely to be crowded.
The Victoria Pool can fit just 350 people, compared to the 2,864-person capacity at Peerless. In past summers, people have had to wait to enter the Victoria Pool because it was full.
"It will boost the demand, for sure," Greenslade said,
although he added that camps and other large groups
expecting to use the Peerless Pool have been redirected to other area swimming centers.
Crowded or not, Louise Goldstein, co-founder of the Save the Victoria Pool Society, said she’ll be among the first in line when her pool of choice opens at 10 a.m. Saturday.
"Unless there’s a hurricane, I’ll be there," she said.
Still, Goldstein said, she is disappointed that park staff are again opening the Victoria Pool in late June rather than on Memorial Day. She will continue to advocate for an earlier opening until the policy changes, she said.
"They’re acting like it’s their private property and not our tax dollars that pay for this pool," Goldstein said.
Greenslade said staff could open the 73-year-old pool earlier, but the early-season crowds are too small to justify it.
"We just don’t get the crowds and it’s not been worth it, in my experience," he said.
The June openings are now scheduled to coincide with the school calendar, Greenslade said.
The pools, which saw a combined 59,093 visitors last year, will be open — once they do open — seven days a week until Labor Day.