You Paid For It: Historic pool in Ybor City broken again after $3.2 million renovation

Tampa’s historic Cuscaden Pool in Ybor City.
Tampa’s historic Cuscaden Pool in Ybor City.

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The thermometer is soaring, school’s almost over and Tampa’s historic Cuscaden Pool is out of order and closed again. Despite spending millions of your money to renovate the pool that’s been around since Franklin Roosevelt, it’s now closed until further notice.

“We’re hoping it will be opened up pretty shortly,” said Mike Chucran, the City of Tampa’s Contract Administration Department Director.

The City of Tampa shut down the pool on April 24, due to a leak in the main drain that contractors are now figuring out how to fix. Nearby residents in the Ybor City area are already starting to grumble about where their kids will go to cool off now that the summer heat is upon us.

“It needs to be open,” said Marika Shepperd.

“I’m sweating,” said her friend Tierra Bell.

The city of Tampa conducted major repairs of the 80-year-old pool back in 2005, which lasted about four years, until leaks forced the pool to close for the next seven years. The city invested another $3.2 million of your money last year to completely renovate Cuscaden and update the pool’s mechanical infrastructure.

That renovation went well for about eight months, until one of the pool’s three main drains, which were not replaced as part of the 2016 renovation, failed and started leaking. Chucran said there was no reason to change the drains during the renovations in 2016.

“From all visual inspections, the drains looked okay,” Chucran said.

Chucran estimates it will cost between $20,000 and $50,000 to repair the faulty drain. Chucran said the city may elect to replace two other similar drains as a preventive measure, even though they haven’t failed.

He’s hoping the city can re-open the pool in time for Memorial Day weekend, but isn’t making any promises.

“The design we expedited pretty quickly, so now we’re just trying to get the contractor in here to get these fixes done and get these kids back in the pool,” Chucran said.

Click here to check out the history of Cuscaden Park.

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