Lincolnton’s William M. Lentz Pool, located in Betty Ross Park, is scheduled to reopen this weekend for the summer season.
According to recreation program coordinator Nathan Eurey, the pool received significant damage from heavy rains and flooding that swept across the region last summer.
“We actually got the rainfall that Saturday, (July 28), upstream in Catawba County,” he recalled. “By the time it reached us, it was probably Sunday around one or two in the morning. That’s when it started flooding in the park, and it probably peaked between 9-11 a.m. that morning. It flooded our pool, the gymnasium, our offices, all of that. It was quite an experience.”
The Times-News previously reported that an estimated 9-12 inches of rain fell the weekend of July 27 and 28, resulting in multiple road closures from flooding throughout the county and significant damage to Betty Ross Park and a water treatment plant. According to Assistant County Manager Martha Lide, the storm brought about 32 trillion gallons of rainfall overall, roughly equivalent to 10 bodies of water the size of Lake Norman.
As the flooding began to subside, the city’s Parks and Recreation officials began evaluating the damage.
“Once the pool was flooded, we had to drain it out, pressure wash it and kind of see where we stood,” Eurey said. “And then, it was a matter of waiting to see if our insurance would cover it and trying to get quotes and estimates on that. Once we were told it was covered and we would get some insurance money, it was November.”
According to Eurey, Aquatics Resource Group, based out of Charlotte, ultimately accepted the bid. However, the company did not begin repairs on the pool until this month.
“We kind of got set back because we were waiting on some paperwork with the company that got the bid; we were waiting on their certificate of insurance,” he said. “It was a matter of paperwork and getting on their work schedule, since they had other projects they were working on.”
Eurey said the repairs to the pool took about a week and a half to complete.
“They came in and basically shoveled out a lot of loose plaster and some hollow areas of the plaster,” he said. “They took all the tile out that we had, and then they came in and put on a bond coat, which is like a coating of concrete almost. We were hoping to open this past weekend, but they actually didn’t finish up until Friday. They had to come back and caulk around the top edge of the pool — where the deck meets the pool tile. Also, we weren’t sure if our pool motors would work or not, since they had been sitting since the flood. We weren’t sure if they would come on or restart.”
Eurey added that the department is currently working on chemically balancing the pool and awaiting a health department inspection.
“There just wasn’t enough time to do all of that (last weekend), so that’s why we postponed our opening until this coming weekend, barring that there’s no other setbacks that we experience,” he said.
This summer, the pool is scheduled to be open to the public Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday from 1-5 p.m.
Those interested in learning more about the William M. Lentz Pool and the aquatic programs offered should visit http://www.ci.lincolnton.nc.us/parkandrec.html.