Memorial Pool Shapes Up For Summer Opening
The pool is set to open on Friday, June 22 at 10 a.m.
The sand has been bulldozed, two of the three rental trailers have been delivered and new fences encircle Fair Lawn's historic bathing beach.
Scheduled to open in less than a month, Memorial Pool -- which was devastated by Hurricane Irene-related flooding last year -- is finally starting to regain some of its familiar summertime look.
"This year’s season, as promised, will go on without a hitch," borough manager Tom Metzler proclaimed at the last council work session.
The borough has contracted with a concession vendor who will operate both a fully-contained trailer with a variety of food choices, as well as a separate refreshment stand.
A covered outdoor dining area will replace the old air-conditioned indoor dining room, and guests will be able to order from a menu that Metzler said is more extensive than what was previously offered.
"I really actually think the residents will see very little in change," he said.
Metzler said he was especially pleased by the amount the borough saved by renting construction trailers.
Originally, Metzler had proposed paying more than $30,000 for a five-month rental of one single and one double trailer to be used as office space. He changed course, however, after the only bid the borough received on the trailers far exceeded the price it had anticipated paying.
"We basically decided to rethink the whole way we were doing it," he said. "My background is in construction and we rent construction trailers all the time, so we started inquiring with companies that provide construction trailers and were able to find a company down in Toms River that provided us with very competitive pricing and we took advantage of it."
The total cost to rent all three trailers ended up being only $7,919.40 -- about one quarter of what they had initially anticipated paying.
"The reality is," Metzler said, "we are not going to have a new building built down there for the  pool season, so we’ll be set up to rent them again and we’ll still spend half of what our original expectations were."
Long-term Plans for Memorial
The re-formed Memorial Pool committee has decided to address the future of the pool in steps, with the first step being the development of a permanent structure on site, Metzler said.
Councilwoman Lisa Swain, one of two pool committee liasions, reported last work session that the committee recommended construction of a single permanent elevated building on the east side of the property -- an area where the land is already slightly higher.
The buidling would house all functions -- snack bar, bathrooms, lifeguards and administration, she said.
With a location for the structure in mind, the next step is putting together preliminary drawings that can then be relayed to residents for input. Swain suggested that throughout the process, the borough should hold sessions around the community to keep residents informed of the process as it progresses.
Metzler said that under the best case scenario, the new pool building would be in place and ready to go for the 2014 pool season.
Once the building is in place, the committee will set its sights on the pool portion of the property.
"It’s not a question of whether the pool won’t be there anymore," Metzler said. "It’s what the pool is going to look like."
That potentially controversial discussion, however, is not likely to take place for at least a couple more years, he said.
This year's pool season begins on Friday, June 22.