Pool plans changed

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 6, 2015


Salt water not compliant for competitions

Opp’s recently approved $400,000 salt-water pool became a heated chlorine pool at Monday night’s council meeting.

Opp Mayor John Bartholomew said that thanks to efforts from WOPP’s Robert Boothe and Parks and Recreation Director Willie Edwards, it was determined that AHSAA regulations required chlorine pools.

Additionally, it was determined that an eight-lane pool might be more conducive for state high school tournaments; however, after speaking to AHSAA officials, Edwards found out Opp would only be eligible to have meets if they had an indoor facility.

The additional two lanes would cost $60,000 more, and would include the additional lanes, bigger scoreboard and more diving platforms.

“I talked Mr. (Marvin) Chou at AHSAA, and he stated that eight lanes would be better than six,” Edwards said. “But they wouldn’t host the tournaments outside.”

Sectionals draw 40 to 50 schools to Mobile, he said.

“We would have to have it indoors to be able to get it,” he said.

Edwards said six lanes would be good enough.

“We can still hold local tournaments in ours,” he said. “Mr. Chou said we could probably get the Florida teams to come and get involved in our tournaments.”

Edwards said he talked to Alabama Parks and Recreation and that six lanes was sufficient for swim meets.

Councilwoman Mary Brundidge, who has opposed the pool project, said there was no guarantee people are coming to Opp.

“If I had to pick between Mobile and Opp, I would pick Mobile,” she said. “And I don’t even like going across the Dolly Parton bridge. And where is this money coming from?”

Bartholomew reminded her that the pool had already been approved by the city council.

“We are keeping the pool the same,” he said. “The cost is the same.”

Changing from salt water to chlorine saved $15,000, but the heaters for the pool cost $15,000, so the change is awash, Bartholomew said.

Edwards said he know of at least five swim teams nearby that could participate in meets in Opp.