Construction delays mean pool won’t be open this summer
The provincial government’s new budget assumes an oil price of US$105 a barrel, but for the City of St. John’s, oil costs $100,000.
That’s about how much it cost to clean up contaminated soil in Bannerman Park during work upgrading the pool, when construction workers recently discovered an old oil tank in the ground.
“It wasn’t any type of a disastrous situation. They just had to remove it and they just had to remove some of the soil,” said
St. John’s Coun. Jonathan Galgay, a director of the Bannerman Park Foundation, established to raise money for the $6-million park revitalization.
“It wasn’t anything like we’d typically see with regards to a massive oil leak. It was just something that had been in the ground, and we had to remove it and obviously had to follow various types of protocols, and everything worked out quite well.”
Galgay said what exactly the tank was used for is a mystery to the city.
“I had asked if it was used to perhaps heat the pool many, many, many years ago, because obviously there’s different types of ways you can heat a pool, and they couldn’t even find any connecting piping or anything,” he said. “It was just a tank that was in the ground.”
Galgay said the cleanup cost about $100,000.
Construction delays mean the park revitalization will not be finished until September, which means the pool won’t open this summer.
Galgay said the delay due to the oil tank was a minor problem compared to other delays.
“The biggest delay was the concrete that was laid,” he said. “The concrete didn’t settle properly, or it was faulty, and the company was responsible to remove that and replace it. That, and the weather, caused some significant delays for us, primarily the winter, the heavy snowfall.”
The city hopes to have at least one new part of the park open for the summer, though, said Galgay.
“One of the things that we’ve been pushing for is, we cannot commit to it, but we’re going to try to see if we can get the splash pad in place for mid- to late summer,” said Galgay. “We can’t make any commitments, but it’s something we’re going to try to do, because obviously young people are going to be impacted by the pool not being there. It was shut down last year as well, so we want to try to mitigate any problems.”