BETHLEHEM — The town is encouraging locals to take an online survey now through Wednesday, July 31 in anticipation for the Elm Avenue Park’s Dive Tank’s reconstruction.
The 10-question survey is available on the town’s website at www.surveymonkey.com/r/LLZ7H5K.
It asks questions like how often the surveyee visits the pool complex, how many of their family members come along, if the surveyee participates in aquatic or diving programs there, their opinion about the complex’s fees, and to rate the complex’s overall user experience.
Jason Gallo, the town’s Parks and Recreation administrator who said he helped create the survey with several town staff, said, “It’s always good to hear how the public feels about certain things in the pool complex and it’s important to get a feel of what they think.”
Adding that the survey first became available earlier this month, Gallo said residents’ input would help better inform the Dive Tank’s anticipated reconstruction.
The Dive Tank has stayed closed for the summer season — the rest of the pool complex remains open though — after its structural integrity was deemed compromised earlier this spring. Deteriorated concrete walls and water infiltration were among the discoveries made.
Potential solutions that Gallo brought up included replacing the concrete, introducing an underdrain and excavating around the perimeter of the pool’s walls.
While it was decided to hold off further inspection and the eventual reconstruction of the Dive Tank until this fall so as to not discourage the summer crowds, Gallo said there is a chance that the Dive Tank may not be reconstructed and would instead be possibly replaced with another amenity.
Potential replacing amenity ideas include a new shallow pool, picnic spot, a slide and a shaded grass area.
“It’s not a huge possibility but our full intention is to reconstruct the Dive Tank. I’d rather have the survey information now than in the fall because we want to use all of the fall for active construction time,” he said.
As a result, the survey includes some what-if questions like what type of amenity the surveyee thinks could replace the Dive Tank if the reconstruction becomes too costly for example; if the surveyee thinks the Dive Tank should be repaired regardless of cost; and if the pool complex would still be attractive without a Dive Tank in the future.
Speaking of costs, Gallo said it’s hard to determine how much repairs would be as of mid-July since the town needs to further excavate the Dive Tank to check for any more potential damage. He confirmed that this would happen in the fall too.
When asked about the ideal timeframe for the reconstruction, Gallo said it should start around one or two weeks after the pool complex ceases operations on Sept. 2.
“The pool complex would undergo its typical maintenance that we do every season as we close up the pools,” he said. “Then, we will hopefully be ready to go all in.”
Gallo added that as of Thursday, July 18, the survey has attracted 875 responses, which he expressed gratitude for people taking the time to take it. For anyone interested to fill it out, it remains available at www.townofbethlehem.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1034 until Wednesday, July 31.