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No pool party at Bud Kearns this summer, kids

Morley Field facility revamp delayed until 2016 (at least)

"Major" being the operative word...
"Major" being the operative word...

Kathy Taylor watched her eight-year-old son blossom after joining the swim team at Bud Kearns Municipal Pool last summer. Her son was excited about being on the swim team again this summer…but the "Closed Until Further Notice" sign on the door to the Morley Field pool in February put a damper on that.

While the city says there have been no unexpected delays, the county says the contractor has been dragging its feet.

In May, councilman Todd Gloria posted to Facebook that the pool would open in July. He then posted in July that the repairs were taking longer than expected and the pool would open August 10.

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Bone-dry at at Bud Kearns pool

When that deadline passed, Taylor sought to find out why the date kept changing. Everything she saw at the worksite remained the same, including the dirt pile, the trench, and the dusty pile of pipes.

On August 17, Adrian Granda from Gloria's office directed Taylor to county supervisor Ron Robert's office for answers. Jeanette from Roberts’s office wasn't aware of the pool issue and directed Taylor back to Gloria's office.

That same day, Taylor created the "Fix Bud Kearns Pool" Facebook page so the community could address the issue together.

Eileen Gianola, a city “supervising recreation specialist,” told Taylor that scheduled maintenance in February revealed that old age and calcification had rendered the eight-inch capacity pipes down to two inches. Timothy Graham, a city PR officer, said that upon discovering the drainage problem, steps were immediately taken toward starting the drain-line repair.

On May 20, the city issued a $149,000 purchase order to California Commercial Pools (Cal-Com) to replace the main drain (Phase I). The expected delivery date was June 30.

Per Graham, the only part of the project completed to date is the demolition and removal of the existing main drain plumbing. While Graham states there have been no unexpected issues or delays, Roberts’s office has blamed Cal-Com for delays. Cal-Com did not return calls for comment.

Vicki Granowitz of the North Park Planning Committee pointed to one possible reason for the delays. The pool's original parts are from the 1930s. She knows from experience how challenging it is to find replacement parts.

Liz Pozzebon from the County Department of Environmental Health said the agency asked Cal-Com for revisions to their initial plan on August 6. The department was expecting Cal-Com's revised plan by August 19. Cal-Com missed the deadline. Andy Field of San Diego Parks and Recreation said the county department is now working with Cal-Com to split up the work into smaller increments to expedite project completion.

Graham said after the Department of Environmental Health inspects and approves Cal-Com's completed work, the pool will open within a three-week time frame. In addition to the revised plan from Cal-Com, other steps required before opening the pool to the public include construction, tile-setting, filling, and disinfecting the pool, and environmental testing.

Phase II is tentatively scheduled to begin February 2016. The $1M funding for this phase has not yet been secured.

In related news, the North Park Planning Committee currently has a draft plan out for public review that mentions replacing and expanding existing Bud Kearns and Morley Field facilities.

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"Major" being the operative word...
"Major" being the operative word...

Kathy Taylor watched her eight-year-old son blossom after joining the swim team at Bud Kearns Municipal Pool last summer. Her son was excited about being on the swim team again this summer…but the "Closed Until Further Notice" sign on the door to the Morley Field pool in February put a damper on that.

While the city says there have been no unexpected delays, the county says the contractor has been dragging its feet.

In May, councilman Todd Gloria posted to Facebook that the pool would open in July. He then posted in July that the repairs were taking longer than expected and the pool would open August 10.

Sponsored
Sponsored

Bone-dry at at Bud Kearns pool

When that deadline passed, Taylor sought to find out why the date kept changing. Everything she saw at the worksite remained the same, including the dirt pile, the trench, and the dusty pile of pipes.

On August 17, Adrian Granda from Gloria's office directed Taylor to county supervisor Ron Robert's office for answers. Jeanette from Roberts’s office wasn't aware of the pool issue and directed Taylor back to Gloria's office.

That same day, Taylor created the "Fix Bud Kearns Pool" Facebook page so the community could address the issue together.

Eileen Gianola, a city “supervising recreation specialist,” told Taylor that scheduled maintenance in February revealed that old age and calcification had rendered the eight-inch capacity pipes down to two inches. Timothy Graham, a city PR officer, said that upon discovering the drainage problem, steps were immediately taken toward starting the drain-line repair.

On May 20, the city issued a $149,000 purchase order to California Commercial Pools (Cal-Com) to replace the main drain (Phase I). The expected delivery date was June 30.

Per Graham, the only part of the project completed to date is the demolition and removal of the existing main drain plumbing. While Graham states there have been no unexpected issues or delays, Roberts’s office has blamed Cal-Com for delays. Cal-Com did not return calls for comment.

Vicki Granowitz of the North Park Planning Committee pointed to one possible reason for the delays. The pool's original parts are from the 1930s. She knows from experience how challenging it is to find replacement parts.

Liz Pozzebon from the County Department of Environmental Health said the agency asked Cal-Com for revisions to their initial plan on August 6. The department was expecting Cal-Com's revised plan by August 19. Cal-Com missed the deadline. Andy Field of San Diego Parks and Recreation said the county department is now working with Cal-Com to split up the work into smaller increments to expedite project completion.

Graham said after the Department of Environmental Health inspects and approves Cal-Com's completed work, the pool will open within a three-week time frame. In addition to the revised plan from Cal-Com, other steps required before opening the pool to the public include construction, tile-setting, filling, and disinfecting the pool, and environmental testing.

Phase II is tentatively scheduled to begin February 2016. The $1M funding for this phase has not yet been secured.

In related news, the North Park Planning Committee currently has a draft plan out for public review that mentions replacing and expanding existing Bud Kearns and Morley Field facilities.

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Comments

San Diego can and must do better for Balboa Park. The endless pattern of fiscal and physical neglect by Park & Wreck, the Mayor and City Council MUST stop. Please join and actively support the Balboa Park Heritage Association.

This heavily use, historic and much-loved Balboa Park recreational asset has been neglected for years. Locker rooms are a mess. Pool deck area is sad at best. The basic plumbing and filtration systems for this public pool were ignored, never inspected annually, and doomed to a traumatic and total failure.

After the inevitable and totally avoidable failure, a video camera inspection of the critical circulation pipes showed the 8 " pipe was reduced to a 2" effective diameter by calcium build-up and corrosion. This did not happen in one year, and should have been avoidable by proper annual maintenance and repairs.

PLEASE ASK Park & Wreck and Todd Gloria the following specific questions:

  1. These systems should be inspected annually in the winter "off season" permitting needed maintenance and repairs to be done on a timely basis. This would provide for reopening for the warm weather season when major repairs are needed. WHY has this not been done for the Kearns Pool ?

  2. Why was the Kearns Pool allowed to simply fail, be drained and lie empty for months until the public began complaining ?

  3. What inspection schedule and maintenance systems will be made effective now to ensure this pattern of fiscal and physical neglect and failure is not repeated ?

  4. What will now be done to correctly restore and maintain the historic deck and locker room areas of the Pool ?

  5. YMCAs, private fitness facilities, Condo homeowner associations. country clubs and hotels in San Diego all maintain large pools for the public, guests and members. NONE of these have deteriorated by neglect to the point of total failure as was done for this Balboa Park asset. Why does the Park & Wreck Department and City leadership permit this to happen ?

YOU can make a difference now by becoming a Balboa Park Heritage Association Member, by contributing in any amount, by acquiring a great Centennial cap or tee, by volunteering and by SHARING this with all your Facebook friends. The Park needs YOUR voice and support NOW. Become an Annual Member at $25, Dual Member for $50, Centennial Member at $100 [Free cap and preferred event seating !] , Balboa Member at $250 or Lifetime Member at $500 by making a secure tax- deductible contribution of either $25 ,$50, $100, $250 or $500 at this link: http://www.gofundme.com/bwd89o.

BPHA will also continue to be a vocal Advocate for the Park and for a $300,000,000 - $450,000,000 Bond Ballot Proposition earmarked exclusively for the Park's needs. Celebrating, Maintaining, Defending and Preserving this amazing asset is our Mission. Necessary now as the Park is neglected by City politicians.

Aug. 23, 2015

Kathy Taylor was wise to take her own action, after Todd Gloria's council representative for North Park, Adrian Granda, just passed the buck to the County. Mr. Granda has shown himself in previous months to be a poor North Park rep. He rarely (if ever) takes a proactive stance on NP problem areas. And he doesn't do much useful when problems ARE reported to him (or reported in the Reader). It's apparently a secret what he does, or what his job description states.

Aug. 23, 2015

Adrian Granda's job is to deny responsibility and deflect criticism for his boss Todd Gloria; and that is a very tough assignment. When Mr. Granda is giving someone the run-around, when he sounds like a broken record, when he refuses to take your issue seriously; he does so at the behest of Councilperson Todd Gloria.

Aug. 24, 2015

Great article Julie. This is what The Reader does best.

Aug. 24, 2015

Thank you Ken.

Aug. 24, 2015

Todd Gloria has been given the privilege to represent the Third District as Councilperson, the City Council as President, and San Diego as interim Mayor. Unfortunately, when one attempts to characterize his tenure in these positions the negatives far out weight the positives. He failed to update Barrio Logan's community plan, failed on a affordable housing linkage fee, and failed on an increase to the city's minimum wage. What is really disappointing is his failures in regards to Balboa Park, which is located in his district. Not only is the Bud Kearns Pool in disrepair, the California Tower is filthy, and the Centennial Celebration, what happened to that ? From the Grand Jury report on the Centennial Disaster; "City officials did not adequately monitor the Balboa Park Celebration project." "City Council must share responsibility for its lack of oversight." This is exactly what one would expect when Todd Gloria is given a leadership position.

Aug. 24, 2015

While Todd Gloria has been busily extolling his "sexy streets," cracking wise about going as Lady Gaga to the State of the Union address, and sharing news about Justin Bieber's haircut, while he went off to DC to scout his political ambitions around the capitol, while he neglected to do anything of serious note during his time on the council, except to countermand all the good things Mayor Bob Filner did and falsely grab credit for the new library downtown by having the mayor's name removed and his etched in, while he was finding thousands of dollars for dog parks and neglecting Balboa Park on a scale that barely falls short of criminal, he still found the time and the nerve to declare himself a candidate for higher office. As rep for the Council district that encompasses Balboa Park, Todd Gloria had one job. Well he almost ruined it, by failing to properly investigate Lilygate as that would have exposed his role in that fiasco, by supporting Jacobs Folly to the point that he improperly blocked everyone who questioned the project from his FB page and then lied and said the majority of San Diegans supported the plan, by his failed leadership on the Centennial Celebration and where the millions went is yet to be known, and by this Bud Kearns pool fiasco, also the pleas and complaints from the disabled community regarding parking near the museums which he has disregarded. And we aren't even talking here about the Portland loos, the Jack in the Box reversal, and a hundred other fails he covers over while his machine pushes him forward into a seat he has shown himself incapable of serving or deserving the honor. He is a hideous little boy; I used to be a Democrat but the leadership of the Party in San Diego has let me down to the point where I can freely choose who I want to represent me. The Toad would not be on that list.

Aug. 24, 2015

I left the Democratic Party years ago, and remain independent.

Aug. 24, 2015

thanks Julie, a few comments...

Park & Rec employees are currently passing out detailed opinion polls asking how they're doing, what are your priorities, etc. Get several for your friends to fill out. I already emphasized the importance of swimming pools.

About this: "Taylor created the "Fix Bud Kearns Pool" Facebook page"; I think this would be great on the real internet where everyone can access it. Some of us aren't allowed to enter the proprietary fantasyland called Facebook because we value some privacy.

Park & Rec recently took over the old YMCA near University and hwy 15. They are remodeling it for use primarily by handicapped people. The pool that was there will be destroyed, apparently, or re-purposed. Pools are expensive to maintain and it seems that sanitary and safety requirements get tougher each year. Let's hope that they don't go the way of ice skating facilities--only one left in the city to my knowledge.

I don't understand why, but ordinary Park & Rec employees are seeing a lot of turnover and reassignments over the last year or so. One dedicated worker is planning early retirement due to unspecified job stress. Others seem singularly unmotivated despite their inspiring work environment. I assume that there are management problems but I'm not in a position to determine what they are.

Aug. 24, 2015

I believe there are 3 ice skating facilities in the city--the Kroc Center, UTC, and Mira Mesa. There is also at least one in North County.

Aug. 26, 2015

I wonder what is more important the Chargers or the citizens? Oh never mind I know the answer to that.

Aug. 25, 2015
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