Closure of three of Oahu’s largest pools has residents worried for summer

We first told you that two of five public pools in the East Honolulu district will be closed, possibly through the hot summer months.

The Palolo Valley District Park pool, gym and weight room closed for renovations beginning Monday, April 10, and Manoa Valley District Park’s gym and pool closed in February to replace the gym’s roof.

Now, we’ve also learned the pool at Salt Lake District Park is also closed. At 50 meters in length, these three are some of the city’s largest pools.

In Palolo, the city says leaking roofs have caused water damage, including at the pool shower building. The $448,000 project is scheduled to be completed by fall.

The city says it will open facilities as repairs are completed, and the plan is for the pool to be first.

Some pool users call it bad timing.

“We have concerns about how long it’s going to take and why now,” Palolo resident Frank Lee said. “By the time they finish, it’ll be the ending of summer where kids will be out of school and they have no place to go because there’s no park and rec.”

Lee points out that the Manoa facilities are not expected to reopen until September with an estimated cost of nearly $1.2 million.

The city parks spokesperson told KHON2 that the city hoped to start the Palolo construction sooner, but it had to do with the timing of contracts. He said for now, the pool program and use of the gym are suspended for summer fun, but there is another facility there that the program can use.

Honolulu City Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi, who also chairs the council’s Committee on Parks, Community & Customer Services, says it’s a big problem.

“I don’t know why they can’t stagger things or plan better, not close it when it’s summer and summer fun when all the children are out there looking for a place to have fun,” she said.

Meanwhile, Lee says he and several others pool users plan to air their concerns at the neighborhood board meeting at Palolo Elementary Wednesday night.

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