Balboa Park Pool's Long Shutdown Expected to End in a Matter of Weeks

San Diego's oldest municipal pool, out of commission since it was shut down and drained in April for repairs and upgrades, now appears closer to re-opening.

North Park swimmers accustomed to using Bud Kearns Memorial Pool, a Morley Field landmark since 1933, have had to go miles away to cool off from an extra-hot summer.

The closure also has affected youth swimming and water polo teams, beginners' lessons and senior fitness programs.

"It's a disaster! This is something we all love and rely on,” nearby resident Laurie Macrae told NBC 7 in an interview Monday.

Estimates are, repairs and upgrades will cost upwards of $1 million for a complete overhaul.

“It really affects our quality of life in this neighborhood,” Kathy Taylor said in an interview Monday. “We all live here for the city resources, and this is one of them -- and we don't have it this year. And it's sad!"

There's been precious little progress -- a trench dug, with dirt piled alongside, for repair crews to start getting at clogged and corroded circulation pipes.

"They have not been hearing us,” Maggie Pinon said. “ Every time you call, you get a different message. I think they should stop giving us the runaround and fix the pool!"

The locals worried that the pool’s long stretch of disuse – which NBC 7 first reported in May -- wouldn't be more of an invitation to vandals and intruders.

Meantime, those who appreciate all the history surrounding the pool and aging clubhouse hope the complex won't be swept aside someday.

"When they first announced the pool would be closing, as a preservationist my first gut reaction was 'Uh-oh',” said Jaye MacAskill, an activitst with Save Our Heritage Organisation, “because this is how governments quietly close down historic buildings and allow them to deteriorate over time -- so they can construct a reason for not re-opening it."

Late Monday, after press secretaries for Mayor Faulconer and Councilman Todd Gloria had been notified that NBC 7 would be reporting on the issue again, a city spokesman emailed to say repairs on the pool will begin Tuesday and last about three weeks.

He added that county health officials will have to approve the water quality before the pool can be re-opened.

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