Bender Pool in CR to close for ADA reconstruction

More cities across Iowa are making changes to their facilities to become ADA compliant. It's a change that is for the good, but it can be tough financially for smaller cities.

Just last year, the pool in Keota closed over safety concerns. Building a new one means making sure the bathrooms will be ADA compliant.

In total, the project will cost almost $1 million. City council will decide Monday on a bond issue to let the taxpayers decide if they want to pay the bill.

In a much larger city, Bender pool in Cedar Rapids is closing on Friday, so the city can make sure it is ADA compliant. The indoor pool is at 940 14th Avenue southwest. Their work will be around the pool, instead of in it.

Construction crews will level the floor, as well as renovating the bathrooms to make sure the stalls and showers are ADA compliant. Workers will even out the sidewalks around the building.

The city has the $600,000 price tag budgeted, something smaller cities struggle to do, but bigger cities can face different issues.

"Bigger cities may have more budgets, but they also have more amenities to take care of, too,” said Scott Hock, Cedar Rapids Park and Recreation Director. “We have 57 different playgrounds, 97 parks, all of those things we are working on to be compliant. So there are challenges on both ends."

Cedar Rapids city leaders hope to open the pool back up sometime in September. Hock says it’s important to be inclusive.

"We want everyone to enjoy the experiences of recreation or anything within the city regardless of their abilities right,” he said. “We don't want to limit somebody because of their mobility so it's huge to be able to be all of that to all people."

With Bender being the only indoor pool in the city, officials chose to close it for work in the summer. Those who swim at Bender can still swim at the city's outdoor pools.