Gloversville Common Council supports study for Littauer Pool

STAN HUDY/LEADER-HERALD In this August 2021 photo, Kim Larabee stands next to the Littauer Pool site, across from his residence on West Street in Gloversville. The pool and the structure on the property have fallen into disrepair, and the grounds are overgrown.

By JASON SUBIK

The Leader-Herald

GLOVERSVILLE — The Common Council on Sept. 28 unanimously approved a resolution to begin a Request for Proposals process from qualified engineers for a feasibility study to determine what the city should do about the dilapidated Littauer Pool site at 159 West St.

The resolution states the money the city will spend for the feasibility study will come from a $24,100 grant from the Littauer Foundation the city received in 2007. The grant money was restricted to only being spent for expenses related to the Littauer Pool, and, according to the resolution, hasn’t been tapped since 2009 when city officials approved spending $8,100 from the grant to pay for a summer recreation swim program, when the pool was still in operation.

That leaves $16,000 left in the Littauer Foundation grant account, which is the money the council has now authorized to pay for a feasibility study to whichever qualified engineer submits the best proposal to the RFP process.

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Mayor Vince DeSantis praised 4th Ward Councilwoman Ellen Anadio for advocating the city take action to do something about Littauer Pool.

“She’s been kind of the champion of Littauer Pool for a while,” DeSantis said. “She’s always advocated for the pool.”

Sixth Ward Councilman Wrandy Siarkowski sponsored the resolution. DeSantis asked Anadio if she would like to second the resolution.

“Sure,” Anadio said.

“It’s appropriate to have your name on it,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis then asked if there was any discussion on the proposal, and Councilman-at-large William Rowback Jr. had some questions.

“This is an engineering firm that’s going to be doing this?” Rowback asked.

“Pardon?” DeSantis said.

“Don’t we, the city, have an engineer? Could he do that study?” Rowback asked.

DeSantis said he wasn’t certain the feasibility study could be conducted in-house. He and several of the council members then said they believe the city has to go through an official RFP process.

DPW Director Chris Perry then told the council that officials with the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation have told him a formal engineering study will be necessary before the city could be eligible to apply for any state grant money for restoration and rehabilitation of the pool site.

“The RFP includes that language, all of the boxes need to be checked off,” Perry said.

Apparently satisfied with Perry’s answer, the council then voted unanimously to support the resolution.

It was earlier in the day on Sept. 28 that Rowback had posted a social media video to his Facebook page of himself next to the fence at Littauer Pool. In the video Rowback talked about the history of the pool, having been built in 1929. He said Lucius Littauer even had his 80th birthday at the now derelict property.

“They used to have orchestras here. They used to have dance parties, the American Red Cross would come up here and teach kids how to swim,” Rowback said. “There’s so much potential that’s available here to be able to have this pool opened back up for our youth. You know, we have to invest in our youth. There’s swimming lessons that we can do. They used to have diving competitions here and swimming competitions here. It’s amazing how much history there is here in the city of Gloversville at this pool. There’s so much potential. We could have a bike park. We could have a skate park.”

Getting specific

According to the Request for Proposals feasibility study specifications, a successful proposal must provide the city council with the information it needs to make an educated determination on the best course of action for the future of Littauer Pool site.

“The feasibility study should examine and assess all aspects of the swimming pool site and provide estimated repair and renovation costs for both rehabilitation of existing structures that can still be used and repaired and for any new construction deemed necessary for a modernized pool and systems operation given the site environment and regulatory compliance,” reads the study specifications. “At the completion of the feasibility study, the city would like to receive concept drawings for the renovation or new construction projects together with cost and budgetary projections to allow the city to decide for the future of the site.”

The feasibility study must also include a full inventory of the structural pool/shell conditions, surface and finish conditions, information about the filtration system, mechanical and plumbing systems, chemical systems site amenities, bathhouse and support structures, code compliance and environmental compliance, general Americans with Disability Act compliance and all federal and New York State municipal pool requirements and compliance issues.

“The city recognizes that all the above regarding the Littauer Pool site are in a state of severe disrepair, inoperable and obsolete and wholesale rebuild and/or replacement may be the better cost option,” reads the feasibility study specifications. “If needed, the city will allow core borings of the shell structure and pressure-testing of any existing plumbing lines to assess the pool system conditions.”

Proposals are due to the city by 3 p.m., Oct. 15. To submit a proposal two copies of the proposal must be mailed to 3 Frontage Road, Gloversville, New York 12078 or dropped off in person; faxes or emails not acceptable. However, the city does request a single PDF document of the proposal to be emailed to [email protected], although that is not a requirement of the RFP process.

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By Paul Wager