Board Taking Another Look at East Rec Deck Plan                          

Al Haggerty

After favorable reaction to replacing the rotting East Rec Center deck with one offering stairway access to the pool, the OVA Board decided to pause and reconsider plans for the deck at its March 21 meeting, President Andie Altman announced.

“At the request of many directors present at the meeting and in the majority (5-1) decision, this issue will be returned to the board agenda . . . to further discuss stairs to the pool from the deck and the lower deck,” said Altman, who was not present at the March 7 meeting.

She said the Construction Oversight Committee (COC) had been asked to pause, and that the OVA would seek member input via an internet poll on whether there should be stairs on a new deck, and on a proposed lower deck beneath it at pool level.

The board action March 7 had authorized the COC to get formal drawings for a two-level deck with stairs. The drawings would be needed to get bids for the work.

The 5-1 vote overrode Director Herm Hermann’s objections to having steps leading from the deck to the pool. Apologizing for changing his mind about approving the deck with stairs, he said there was “no compelling reason” for people in the main room of the center to get down to the pool.

Director Ellen Leznik, after saying it was time to stop changing minds and move forward, made the March 7 motion to get drawings for the proposed deck, along with resurfacing of the pool deck to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act. The deck slants at a level now unacceptable under the ADA.

Iris Harrell, chair of the Construction Oversight Committee, told the board she had discussed the plans with city staff, who said that while they saw no problems, the project would have to go through the plan review process. She said there would be no need for an elevator or lift to provide access from the deck and its proposed stairways to the pool.

Director Frank Batchelor asked Harrell if she discussed with the city the possibility of glasses being brought from the main room down to the pool. It was noted that only paper or plastic drink containers are allowed at the pool.

Harrell noted previously that the smaller deck would not cost “significantly less” than previous estimates putting the cost of replacing the original deck at $250,000 to $275,000.

Addressing the possibility of repairing the rotting deck, Harrell said it was beyond its normal life and that her committee had concluded that repairs could entail “uncontained costs” because there is no way of knowing the extent of dry rot without taking apart every piece of the deck and examining it.

(A video of the March 7 meeting was scheduled for posting onlilne at