SANTA MARIA, Calif. - The Paul Nelson Aquatic Center is closing for three months for renovations, starting this Saturday.
Most of the renovations will be underwater, including resurfacing and replastering the bottom of the pool. Other renovations include redoing the concrete on the pool deck, putting in a new slide, and installing permanent wheelchair pool lifts.
Recreation Services Manager Dennis Smitherman said the renovations are a long time coming. The average lifespan of a pool is 10 to 15 years. The Paul Nelson pool hasn't been renovated in more than 20 years.
“This is really important now because the lifetime of the pool has been really extended through constant care," Smitherman said. "But it is degrading at such a rate that if we didn't improve it now, it would cost more in the long run.”
Members will able to swim at the YMCA during the closure.
“The aquatics group is a small community here in Santa Maria," said Smitherman. "So we are really lucky to have partners here like the YMCA who are able to help our members during the time of our reconstruction.”
Officials say the pool sees a couple hundred visitors a day in the fall and winter, and a couple thousand in the summer. More than 75,000 people visit the pool every year.
Swimmers are excited for the renovation.
“It will be a minimal inconvenience." said Les Hugie, a pool regular. "I just didn't expect it to be closed until April.”
The renovation will be funded by Community Development Block Grant funds in the amount of $779,055.
The pool is expected to open on April 1. Members can check for renovation updates here.