For the first time in three years, Fort Worth will have a city pool open at Marine Park.
The pool along Northwest 20th Street near North Main Street in north Fort Worth was shuttered the last two summers because of budget cuts and 86-year-old infrastructure.
"It's going to operate, hopefully, throughout the summer," said Richard Zavala, director of the city's Parks and Community Services Department.
Zavala said work crews came across a lot of problems over eight months of tests and repairs, including some broken pipes near the pool in the last few days.
"We've sprung leaks, we've had to repair leaky surfaces of the pool, but we're going to get it open," he said.
The repairs came in under budget, less than $150,000. It will cost a little more than $100,000 to pay for chemicals, lifeguards and other operational needs for the summer.
But the pool will not be open for good. The city is building a new aquatic center at Marine Park for $3.9 million. The money for the new pool comes from grants and gas lease revenues.
"It's going to be a real architectural statement to this community," Zavala said.
The final designs are still being worked out.
The old pool location will be turned into park space.
Zavala said the new center is worth it, saying people who question the expenditure should talk to children who use the park.
"I think the citizens of Fort Worth have said for the most part, 'We want to see these kinds of activities in our community,'" he said. "It's a measure of quality of life."
As for the old pool, Zavala said the city will likely come across issues in the next few months.
"I liken it to an old transmission in a car -- you might get another 10 miles out of it, you might get another 10,000 miles," he said.
Marine Park pool opens at noon on Saturday. It will be open six days per week during the summer.
Other parts of the city can access local YMCAs for public swimming. It is the third year the city has partnered with the YMCA.