Racquet Club pools closing this weekend | ParkRecord.com

Racquet Club pools closing this weekend

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

The Racquet Club will close its pools for the season on Sunday as demolition work continues in anticipation of the renovation of the athletic facility.

The lap pool and the leisure pool will close weeks before they do normally. The leisure pool normally is closed for the season on Labor Day while the lap pool normally remains open through mid-October.

Ken Fisher, who manages recreation programs for City Hall, said each of the Racquet Club’s summer-season swimming programs was scheduled to end by Friday. He said, meanwhile, the number of swimmers using the pools normally drops significantly by the middle of August.

"People have been pretty supportive," Fisher said about the early closures of the pools.

He said swim lessons and participation on swim teams was solid this year, but there was a slight drop in the number of people during open-swim periods.

Fisher said officials want to reopen the pools over Memorial Day weekend 2011, but he acknowledged that timeline depends on the progress the workers make on the building over the winter. It is not clear when Fisher will determine whether the Memorial Day target for the reopening will be met.

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The pools will not be renovated as part of the overall work.

The crews are demolishing most of the Racquet Club building and then putting up a new facility. The demolition should be completed by the middle of August, Fisher said.

The crews are in the early stages of a renovation expected to cost $8.3 million, one of the most significant overhauls of a municipal building City Hall has ever undertaken. The work will include expanding the fitness area, adding a walking and jogging track and installing an area for bouldering. Energy-efficient upgrades will be made as well.

"We’re moving right along," Fisher said about the work thus far.

The leisure pool’s hours are from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The lap pool is open from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. on those days.

For more information about the upcoming closures and the weekend hours, call the Racquet Club at 615-5400.