SCRANTON, Pa. — The fate of Scranton's most popular swimming complex is a little less uncertain.
The state has come through with money to help repair Nay Aug Park's pools, which have been closed for two years.
This time of year, Scranton's Nay Aug Park is known for its Christmas lights. But in the summer, it's the pool complex.
As the snow softly fell Tuesday morning, city officials discussed the future of summer plans at Nay Aug Park, which requires an overhaul of both of its pools.
"When we removed the liner of the slide pool and realized that the concrete had crumbled underneath it, it became a big concern. The original thought was just to replace the liner and get the pool open again, and we found out there's no way at that point. This pool was opened in 1967, it cost $3.5 million back then to put this complex in, so the city got its money out of it. It's time," said Bob Gattens, president of the Scranton Recreation Authority.
The pool complex has been closed since the end of the 2019 season. Both pools need to be replaced. The state's Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has announced a $2 million grant for that project, but it will only get the city about a third of the way there.
The mayor and city council are considering proposals that would restore Nay Aug's slide pool and replace the second pool with a splash pad.
Officials expect the work to take about two years.
"I'm up here every day, the board's up here, and so many times people say, 'when's the pool going to open? When's the pool going to open?' As I said before, it's a community park," Gattens added.
The DCNR's also given Scranton money for two other parks.
Connell Park in south Scranton is expected to see some improvements to the playground and dog park. And the city plans a wellness trail at Weston Park in the city's north end, along with changes to the playground. Both parks also need to become more handicapped accessible.
"We have over 30 parks in the city of Scranton, we have some little ones you've probably driven by and never been to, and we have Nay Aug, which of course, everybody comes to year-round. So, it's a range of parks, but that's expensive, it's expensive to maintain," said Mayor Paige Cognetti.
Scranton officials say work should begin at all the parks in the spring.
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