The first step in the process of converting Walsh Pool into a skate park started this week as crews began dumping clean fill into the one-time borough swimming hole.
The borough had hoped to fill the pool weeks ago, but has been delayed for a variety or reasons — the most recent being wet weather conditions. Once skies cleared over the weekend, however, filling finally began in earnest on Monday, borough engineer Ken Garrison said.
Garrison said filling the pool area -- which has an average depth of 6 feet, but goes as deep as 12 feet in some areas -- should last about a month to ensure proper spreading and compacting of the dirt.
Once filled, Garrison said the borough must then wait until late spring or early summer before the fill has adequately settled to begin any sort of construction work.
Until then, the borough's skate park equipment will remain in storage, where it's been since being removed from a converted tennis court near a residential area on 30th Street and Pellack Drive last July. The original skate park set up, dubbed the Warren Point Annex Skate Park, lasted less than a month before being disassembled as a result of resident complaints.
This May, the borough formalized plans for the park's relocation at the site of the former Walsh Pool on Harristown Road adjacent to the Dobrow Sports Complex.
The borough's current plan involves a multi-phase redesign of the Walsh Pool area for recreational use.
The first phase of the redesign includes not only the placement of the skate park equipment in an enclosed concrete area, but also a sidewalk system to both the skate park and existing playground, a berm of trees between the skate park and playground that should serve as a sound barrier, and a patio extension behind the current All-Sports field house that would offer a clear line of sight to the skate park.
Future phases call for the construction of a gazebo, community garden, splash park and, perhaps, a man-made pond at the site.
Garrison said he expects the skate park portion to be ready for use by late next summer.