There’s good and bad news to recent discoveries regarding excessive leaks from the swimming pool behind Coquina Hall: it isn’t sinking, but repairs could be just as costly as replacement.
While prices aren’t set, $500,000 was the estimate discussed for pool repairs at a Student Government meeting on April 4.
Too much water in the tunnel located around the base of the pool has been a cause for concern over a year now. But because the pool is located so close to the bay, the source of the water was hard to pin down.
“It’s been getting worse every month for 18 months,” said Zac Oppenheim, USFSP water programs coordinator.
It wasn’t long for faculty at the waterfront to realize the pool was losing a significant amount of water.
In the beginning of April, a geotechnical firm found the cause of the leak wasn’t due to sinking. The water was coming from the area where the pool walls meet the deck. This area, called the cold joint, is where an older layer of concrete intersects a newer layer.
Over time, the joint has failed. Water and chemicals are emptying into the earth underneath the pool.
“It’s leaking like a sieve,” said Construction Project Manager Brian Long.
Now, work towards figuring out the best solution is underway. Long expects to receive estimates within the next few weeks. Pool repairs are hardly cheap or quick, and sometimes more expensive than total replacement.
“This isn’t like putting up a wall or replacing an air conditioner or something … it takes a little longer to get the pricing done,” Long said.
The pool is over 70 years old, and has had some work done recently. In 2010, leaks pointed to settlement issues on the deep end of the pool, which called for cutting the deck, resettling the earth, and a new pour of concrete. Water leaks didn’t cease after construction.
Florida Leak Locators have made many trips to the pool in recent years.
“I cannot even estimate how many times,” said Teresa Przetocki, aquatic programs coordinator.
The water loss is so severe it’s noticeable from above ground, Przetocki said, pointing to the water level at the edge of the pool.
The pool was built in 1939 as part of an active U.S. Maritime Service training station.
Photo by Daniel Mutter