Avid swimmer Jane Wilson was distraught on Monday when she called Mission Loc@l.
The city had indefinitely closed Garfield Pool, her favorite swimming spot of 20 years and the only indoor public pool in the Mission District.
By Friday the pool’s future looked more secure after the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department staff met with Wilson and Bob Gamino, the athletic director from John O’Connell High School.
The pool, on 26th and Harrison, is one of the city’s most popular pools and serves students from Garfield and John O’Connell as well as local residents.
Mission Loc@l called the Recreation and Park Department frequently this week to verify details, but the department is under water trying to balance its 2010-2011 budget and hasn’t been particularly responsive.
The pool was closed in November for routine maintenance. Wilson says the pool had not been maintained since 2007, but no one in the city could verify this. Wilson alleged that the maintenance was delayed because the attention went to fixing another city pool, North Beach.
Parks and Recreation drained Garfield pool and noticed it needed significant repair including a new liner. Because there isn’t a budget for the roughly $75,000 liner and an additional $45,000 in new lights and other repairs – the department is broke – officials were uncertain of when they could get the funds together to fix Garfield.
Wilson and other swimmers were understandably upset to discover that their pool’s maintenance may have been deferred to the needs of a tonier neighborhood’s pool, but now it appears that the aquatics division will get the repair money from the Open Space Contingency Fund, which the Recreation and Parks Commission will vote on in March.