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What should Boise do with 1950s-era pools? City asking for public input on South, Lowell


The City of Boise has officially launched two surveys about the future of two of its oldest pools – South Pool on the Boise Bench and Lowell Pool in the North End.

In 2020, the two pools closed due to COVID-19. During this time, Boise Parks and Recreation hired a consultant to study the pools which were both built in 1953 and designed by engineer Wesley Bintz and constructed by Jordan and Sons of Boise. 

That 82-page analysis from firm Cushing-Terrell Architects and California-based firm Aquatic Design Group found both to be in “overall poor condition” and out of compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act standards. The study also found that it would cost $2.4 million to get each individual pool up to code.

“Additional structural assessments completed in February 2022 found both pool structures are in fair condition,” the city’s website notes of additional studies completed on the pools.

[July 2021: What’s the fate of South and Lowell pools? City studies options]

According to the City of Boise, more than 100 of Bintz’s above-ground pools were built across the country between the 1910s and 1960s. Today, the Boise pools are among just over a dozen that remain standing.

“Both of these pools need extensive updates and repairs to safely reopen to the public,” Boise Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway said.

The surveys – one for each pool – collect information around demographics, values and overall opinions and preferences for the future of the pools. There is also a section outlining possible scenarios including everything thing from leaving the pools as-is to completely taking them down and doing something else with that space – like building a park or community garden.

[You Asked: What’s going into new building next to The STIL on Latah?]

“We recognize the historic significance of these structures and want to hear from community members so we can better understand how residents would like these two recreation facilities to function into the future,” Holloway said.

To read more about the history and current state of the two pools and to participate in the public survey, click here.

Anna Daly - BoiseDev Reporter
Anna Daly - BoiseDev Reporter
Anna Daly is a reporter for BoiseDev. She's an Emmy-winning journalist, and a professor at the College of Western Idaho. Contact her at [email protected].

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