Rebuild Philadelphia commissioned Counsilman-Hunsaker and Digsau Architecture to provide an assessment of the Francis Myers Recreation facility pool and spray ground. The facility consists of a 3,578 square foot outdoor pool and a small spray ground built in 1974. The pool had not been filled or used in two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic and remained empty throughout its closure. This led to the need to determine the viability of reopening the pool. The team completed an in-person assessment of the facility, and a report was completed, which included categories for code compliance, American Disability Act compliance, sustainability, programmatic, and site/building elements. During the assessment phase, noncompliance items were sorted into each category along with current condition narratives, recommendations, and costs associated with those recommendations. Each item was then prioritized high, medium, and low based on its category and the facility's current needs.
The pool assessment focused on the structure, finishes, perimeter overflow, deck, and overall support spaces. The pool structure and painted finish were determined to be in poor condition, which caused safety concerns due to cracking. The stainless-steel gutter was in bad condition and appeared to have settled while the pool was empty, creating a large gap at the gutter junction at both the pool deck and pool wall. The pool deck and drainage had similar conditions to the pool structure, and code compliance issues were found at the pool fencing, pool main drains, and ADA accessibility. The pool mechanical systems were additionally accessed, and recommendations were provided to replace much of the pool mechanical equipment.
Two approaches to renovation were recommended to be explored. A renovation approach and a Myrtha RenovAction approach were given, and costs associated with those recommendations were provided. A renovation approach included replacing the stainless-steel gutter, new mechanical systems, remediation of much of the pool structure, replacement of the pool deck and drainage system, and fencing. A RenovAction approached would provide the facility a 25+ year solution by reusing the existing footprint of the pool structure but providing new stainless-steel walls and a fiberglass reinforced composite membrane to provide a new pool solution within the existing shell. In conjunction with a full mechanical system replacement, including replacing all below-grade piping with new Schedule 80 PVC, a RenovAction approach would give the city a long-term solution to the current issues it faced at the pool.