Renovations at Roberto Clemente's Pool Still Not Finished

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The pool at Roberto Clemente State Park in Morris Heights is still undergoing renovations, which started last year. (File photo, Mount Hope Monitor)

While most public pools will open at the end of this month (City-run pools are slotted to open on Tuesday) swimmers near Roberto Clemente State Park will have to find somewhere else to cool off-for the second year in a row.

Local residents were irked last year when the park's Olympic-sized swimming pool was closed for the summer to start renovations, which were supposed to take only 12 months. But construction is still going on, according to Rachel Gordon, a regional director with the State Parks Department. She had no estimates for when the project would be finished.

“It's nowhere near ready,” said Leon Johnson, president of the nearby apartment complex River Park Towers, and a Community Board 5 member. “They’re talking about August, they’re talking about October. Nobody swims in October. From what I could see, it may be time to close the pool by the time it opens.”

Gordon said the project was ongoing because the renovations-which include new locker rooms, a new spray park, and adding a sloping floor to the main pool to allow diving-are so extensive.

“It's a huge, huge, huge job,” she said. “They did an enormous amount of work. The improvements are absolutely dramatic.”

But Johnson said the new additions would do little to appease neighborhood residents looking for a place to stay cool.

“It's going to be a hot summer,” he said.

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