Section III swimmers and divers may soon return to the Max Newman Pool at Nottingham High School. Repairs began in January to address structural issues with the foundation of the 50-meter pool. The end of the project is scheduled for early April.
The pool, which is the largest swimming facility in the region, has hosted numerous high school Section III and state qualifying competitions. It has been closed for over 18 months due to concrete and rebar issues under the pool, which was built and opened in the 1970s for the National Sports Festival.
“Part of the pool has a crawl space next to it,” said Tom Ferrara, director of facilities, maintenance and operations for the Syracuse City school district. “Inside the crawl space, a structural engineer detected damage to part of the concrete surrounding the pool. We thoroughly examined the pool and found that only the concrete in the crawl space had deteriorated. We repair the concrete and fill the crawl space with structural backfill. In addition, we are reorienting some of the mechanical systems located in the crawl space. It’s a pretty big job in a small, tight space.
The cost of the repair project is $ 500,000. It was delayed because the project had to go through a public bid and the design needed to be approved by the New York State Department of Education, Ferrara said.
The closure of the pool and the problems that accompany it have forced Section III to move its various championships throughout the region. This week’s Class A, B and C Boys’ Championships were held in three separate pools. State qualification will take place on Saturday at SUNY Cortland.
Section III moved their boys’ championship out of the Nottingham pool in the winter of 2013 due to issues with the movable partitions dividing the pool from a 50 meter facility into two 25 meter pools. In 2012, during the Section III girls’ championships, the swimmers cut their feet by turning on the partitions.
Ferrara said these issues have already been fixed.
“A local structural engineer designed the repairs with input from a company specializing in out of town swimming pools,” Ferrara said. “Someone from the specialist company would have been involved in the original design of the pool.”
Section III Executive Director John Rathbun said he recently spoke to Nottingham High School Principal David Maynard who briefed him on the repairs and the district’s hopes of recovering the various Championships in league and section at Max Newman Pool.
“He’s very receptive,” Rathbun said of Maynard. “They want him there.
“I’m going to have to sit down with the boys and girls swimming committees. Some like the smaller venues. Other coaches like that everyone can come to one site so you can watch everyone swim. there are a lot of factors.
“It’s easier to go to a place. I remember one day when I went to New Hartford for a date, then to RFA and then to West Genesee. I’m like jeeper creepers. For more than convenience, it’s easier at one place.
“It’s a great pool. No doubt about it. Our championships are working really well there. We’ll see.”