City committee votes to explore short-term Thames Pool repair, long-term replacement
It’s a possibility that London’s mayor called “a no-win situation.”
A committee of councillors has hit the pause button on a London city staff recommendation to permanently close Thames Pool, but it seems clear that the pool is unlikely to be permanently fixed.
The pool – which sits in Old South not far from the Thames River – has taken extensive flood damage over the last dozen years, and inspectors found significant problems with the foundation in the summer of 2022.
Staff says fixing those cracks would be a costly expenditure – and may not keep the pool open for very much longer before similar repairs would have to be done again.
“This is the best location for the pool, it is also the worst location for the pool,” said Councillor Skylar Franke, who represents the ward the pool is in, but doesn’t sit on the committee. “I have had hundreds of emails, tons of calls. That makes this decision even more complex. There is no single unified response we’re hearing.”
A motion Franke asked the committee to consider included a short term repair of the pool allowing it to re-open in 2024 or 2025, and also give the community time to provide feedback on how the pool can be replaced – either where it currently sites in Thames Park or in another location.
“With the community, we can make a decision on how to proceed,” said Mayor Josh Morgan at the meeting.
He did, however, note there were “significant risks” to the short term repair, that may not allow for any swimming at that pool in either summer of 2024 or 2025.
Here's the motion: pic.twitter.com/e3dOkqXmxg
— Craig Needles (@NeedlesOnNews) March 21, 2023
The committee has asked staff to look into the short term repair, which a report says could cost $375,000, and may take more than six months of work to complete.
Franke’s motion, which was presented to the committee by councillor David Ferreria, directed city staff to bring back a report about the costs of the short term repair options in June of 2023.
There will also be a public participation meeting aimed at figuring out the best recreation option for that community going forward. The date of that meeting is yet to be determined.