Pool closing for renovations

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— Jani Sutherland will be left high and dry when the public lap swimming pool at Steamboat Springs Health and Recreation closes next week.

Sutherland has many miles to swim before she rests, and she'll have to add some commuting miles to Craig in order to swim laps for the next 10 weeks.

Sutherland, 51, has qualified for the U.S. Masters National Swimming Championships in Santa Clara, Calif., in May. She's scheduled to compete in both the shortest and longest events in the swim meet the 50-meter and 1,650-meter freestyle races.

Now, Sutherland's training schedule is all wet because the lap pool at Steamboat Springs Health and Recreation Association is set to close for at least two months beginning Feb. 26.

Health and Recreation Manager Pat Carney said Thursday the lap pool only will close Monday for its first major refurbishment since it was built in 1968. It isn't expected to reopen until the first week in May, and only then if the construction crews can get five consecutive days of dry weather in April. Construction crews need the dry weather in order to plaster the walls and bottom of the pool.

Carney stressed that only the lap pool will be affected. All of the other facilities at Health and Recreation, including the smaller hot pools and the water slide, will remain open throughout the work.

The renovation of the pool is expected to cost $300,000, Carney said.

There are a number of reasons to renovate the pool, Carney said, but the decision to undertake it was brought on by the fact that the "skimmer lines" around the edge of the pool no longer function adequately.

The skimmer lines filter small pieces of debris out of the water and currently, pool personnel cannot keep the pool as clean as they would like. Carney said the management of the Ramada Hilltop Vacation Suites will make its 60-foot pool available to Health and Recreation members at no cost.

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