By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer
The Clovis Aquatic Center pool failed a New Mexico Environmental Department inspection Tuesday.
The pool failed the inspection because it lacked repairs city officials were not aware needed to be made, according to Parks and Recreation Director Rob Carter.
“I would have like to open today, but it didn’t happen,” said a frustrated Carter, who offered no timeline for when the pool will open.
The pool was closed in December by the state for failure to meet state standards.
Alan Sena, staff manager for the Environmental Department, said the deficiencies found in the inspection were not major, but need to be corrected before the pool can open.
Sena reported the following deficiencies:
A lifeline, a rope that floats across the water to provide swimmers a handhold, needed to be repositioned
A fill-stop around the pool created a trip hazard
Depth markers were absent.
Clovis officials had adequate access to the requirements prior to the inspection, Sena said.
“We’re almost to the point where we can (get the pool open),” Sena said. “We’re looking forward to opening the pool up here in the future.”
Marissa Stone, spokeswoman for the Environmental Department, said her office is working closely with city officials to get the pool open.
“We realize how important the pool is to community members and we are working with the city to get it open as soon as possible, but we want this to be a safe place for people so these regulations must be followed,” she said.
Utilizing city and state funds, the facility has undergone approximately $450,000 in renovations, Carter said.
Clovis High swim coach Vincent DeMaio said his team was disappointed to learn the pool failed inspection. The high school has no pool and uses the former Play Inc. facility.
“I think everybody fully intended that the pool would be open (Tuesday),” he said.
“It is frustrating. I know that they’re working hard to resolve these issues. But these guys need to be swimming,” DeMaio said.
Although the high-school season doesn’t begin until November, DeMaio said the team also competes during the off-season and practices year-round.
The Clovis Aquatic Center is the only viable local swimming option for the team, he said. Without the pool, his team has been lifting weights and running to stay conditioned.
He said the team has a meet in 10 days.