New Hyde Park pool overhaul underway, on schedule

New Hyde Park pool overhaul underway, on schedule
North Hempstead officials and New Hyde Park residents posing on July 6, 2017 before breaking ground at the Clinton G. Martin pool. (Photo courtesy of the Town of North Hempstead)

It’s all hands on deck to get North New Hyde Park’s swimming pool renovated in time for next summer.

Construction started about three weeks ago on a $23 million, yearlong overhaul of the pool at the Town of North Hempstead’s Clinton G. Martin Park that had been in the works for more than a year, town spokeswoman Carole Trottere said.

So far the construction crew, managed by Wantagh-based Gramercy Group, the general contractor, has taken apart the sun shades and diving boards, broken up concrete and removed asbestos in the building adjacent to the pool, Trottere said.

The plans hit a bump in April when bids for construction came in much higher than expected, boosting the project’s total cost by $9 million. But Trottere said it’s been smooth sailing — construction is so far proceeding on schedule and within the budget.

Of course there’s always the unexpected that you don’t foresee, but they’re on schedule and I’m feeling very good about being on time,” said Marianna Wohlgemuth, a New Hyde Park civic activist and a member of the resident advisory committee that helped plan the renovation.

In all, the renovation will resurface the 75,000-square-foot pool deck, add a water slide, expand the kiddie pool, add spray features and shading structures, renovate the locker rooms, resurface the park’s tennis courts and overhaul the 55-year-old pool’s aging infrastructure.

In addition to its $19.4 million contract with Gramercy Group, the town has a $480,000 construction management pact with Syosset-based LiRo Group to oversee the construction schedule and budget.

The advisory committee will also continue to provide community feedback as construction continues and will be consulted when it’s time to purchase new furniture and plan recreational activities, Trottere said.

They will have input regarding the new pool but as far as construction they have no official responsibility,” Trottere said.

The Clinton G. Martin Park District’s roughly 13,000 residents will pay for the cost of the project with property taxes, with the median tax bill rising to about $140 from about $40. The district covers North New Hyde Park, the Village of New Hyde Park, Garden City Park, Herricks and Searingtown.

Those residents are shut out of their pool, usually a hub of summertime activity, while it is renovated. Many have chosen to spend this summer at the Village of Williston Park’s pool or at four other North Hempstead pools where they could get a membership this year, Wohlgemuth said.

Pool members on Facebook said they miss their usual hangout, but are happy with the alternatives and excited to have a brand-new pool next year.

“Nothing compares to [Clinton G. Martin Park] and the camaraderie I had with my pool buddies,” Gina Notar Kelly wrote on Facebook. “It’s a lonely summer.”

Joan Kosmij wrote that she looks forward to bringing her grandchildren to use the new water slide next summer. She hopes many young families will join after the renovation, she said.

Many park district residents were skeptical that the project would be finished on time and urged the town to seek more bids to possibly lower the cost.

New Hyde Park civic activist Jim McHugh said he still worries the pool may be closed for a second year, especially because construction started a few weeks later than originally promised.

“To guarantee people that it would be open by the second season, to me, that would be overly optimistic,” McHugh said.

Trottere said Gramercy’s crew was doing “preliminary” work on the site in early June that may not have been visible from the outside.

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