The McDade Park swimming pool will remain closed this summer as Lackawanna County officials look for money for an upgrade that includes a splash pad, county officials said Wednesday.

The pool and two related buildings need major repairs, said Jerry Hubshman, county director of parks and recreation. One building houses a water pump and filter and a room where lifeguards rest and change clothes. Besides needing roof repairs, one corner has a subsidence. The other, smaller building houses bathrooms and rooms where people can change clothes.

That building has walls cracked so badly “you can see daylight through the wall,” he said. The solution may involve simply demolishing the changing rooms and upgrading the bathrooms because few people change at the pool any longer, Hubshman said. County engineer Frank Summa said that roof also needs repairs.

The pool opened in July 1979, according to a newspaper story published that month. Early cost estimates show fixing the pool and buildings could cost $700,000 with the splash pad costing $250,000 to $900,000 depending on its size and nature, Hubshman said.

County chief of staff Brian Jeffers said officials began planning for the splash pad before the COVID-19 pandemic prevented the pool from opening last year.

In the meantime, county-owned lakes in Covington, Merli-Sarnoski and Aylesworth parks are open and residents may swim for free there. None have lifeguards so swimming is at your own risk.

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