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Dickinson outdoor pool will not reopen

Press Photo by Ashley Martin The North Pool on Fairway Street, which closed last summer, will not reopen. A new outdoor pool is planned, but when it will be constructed and what will happen to the North Pool is unclear.

Dickinson's only outdoor pool -- which closed last summer -- will not reopen, said James Kramer, Dickinson Parks and Recreation director.

"It was closed because the amount of money it would have taken to get up to code and fix things, it didn't warrant that," Kramer said. "I think the thought is to, before we stick the money into that one, it would be to stick the money into a new pool, wherever that would be."

However, he said a timeline for constructing a new outdoor pool has not been established and only preliminary plans have been discussed.

Federal requirements called for a new pool drain that would cost about $55,000 to install, Kramer said. Because of the age of the pool and wading pool, repairs could push that amount past $100,000, Kramer said.

"What we were afraid of, and what the engineers had said, was once you dig into that and start fixing those, they were worried that we would also find more things to repair because the pool did leak," Kramer said.

An outdoor water park was discussed by the Park Board at one point, but that idea likely won't materialize, Kramer said.

"I think the discussions have kind of shifted more towards a neighborhood outdoor pool," he said.

The new pool may feature waterslides and a play feature similar to what's in the West River Community Center, he added.

"It's roughly a $2.5 million to $3 million project," Kramer said.

Last year, Kramer heard a lot of complaints from people disappointed the pool closed, but said he hasn't heard much about it this year.

"There are people who are making those trips to New England or Killdeer or over to Medora to utilize outdoor pools," Kramer said. "Obviously we think our community is of the size and it needs an outdoor water component or an outdoor pool as part of our system."

The future of the North Pool is unclear, but it will eventually be destroyed.

"The concrete has to be removed, everything has to be cleaned up and put back to grass or whatever we may decide it to be," Kramer said.

Until a decision is made on what other renovations will be done at Memorial Park, where the pool is located, the pool will remain there, Kramer said.

"We're trying to kind of do all of that at once, rather than go in and rip out the pool and turn it into more grass and then a year later we're turning it into a parking lot because the Bandshell gets redone," Kramer said.

If a new pool is not constructed at the site of the old one, it may open other possibilities, including improving Fairway Street, which runs past it.

"It's steep and that curve that's always there seems to be out of place a little bit," said Shawn Soehren, city engineer. "It looks like there could be some opportunities there to maybe do some realignments or something with Fairway if that's not right on the side."

However, he said the idea hasn't been researched and was simply mentioned in passing.

"It just takes a boundary away from that road, potentially, if we wanted to try to do something there, whether it's the grade or the curvature, coming over the top there," Soehren said.

Kramer said a pool could be put outside the community center. "It makes sense for us," Kramer said. "We can just be a little bit more efficient if we have all that at one site."

The facility was designed with that in mind and some mechanical systems already in place may be utilized by putting it there, he said.

"It has been in discussion with the Park Board and the city and it will be again at this budget cycle," Kramer said.