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Rugby swimming pool needs roof work

By Staff | Jul 20, 2018

Shyanne Belzer/MDN The Rugby Pool, which has been around since the mid '70s, is in need of roof repairs. Unfortunately, repairs are expected to be costly.

Many North Dakota cities and towns have an outdoor pool. They provide a cool place to go on hot days, but when weather is cold, they don’t provide much. Rugby is one of a few towns to have an indoor pool at its disposal.

Built in the mid-’70s, the Rugby Pool provides not only those of the Rugby community a nice place to swim, but also for surrounding areas too. Manager of the pool, Bonnie Berginski, says the pool offers a lot to the community.

From swimming lessons to aqua-size to life guard training, the pool does a lot. While it isn’t open year round, it is able to open sooner than outdoor pools.

“Surrounding area pools can’t open until the weather is warm, so while their pools are still empty, they can send their lifeguards to our pool for training so they are ready for the season,” Berginski said.

The pool is a popular stop for many and offers a place where no one will get sunburned or face mosquito bites .

The Rugby Swimming Pool is facing some problems though. It has become clear that the roof of the building is in need of repairs, something that hasn’t happened in quite some time. Fixing a roof can be costly though.

City Auditor Jennifer Stewart says a new roof would give the pool many more opportunities, allowing it to be open longer, but it is very costly.

Stewart explained, “We really don’t know how much it is going to cost. An extremely rough estimate is $400,000, but it could be more.”

The cost being the largest reason for debate, it causes many choices. The pool is not the only thing that is up for being fixed in Rugby and there are many other obligations to other parts of the city that must be considered when budgeting.

The rough estimate can give a small idea of the cost, but is never accurate. It can always change and that is something Stewart thinks is important to know.

As of now, there are no immediate safety issues facing the pool and the roof, but the sooner it is replaced, the better.

“At this point we are in the preliminary stages of deciding what to do,” Stewart said, “but it needs to be done.”

With the knowledge of the possible high cost to repair the roof, there have been debates on whether an outdoor pool may be a better option versus the cost of repairing the indoor. For many though, the unique qualities that the indoor pool offer make them want to keep it.

“We’ve got it already, so why not just maintain it?” Berginski said.

Belzer is a staff writer for the Minot Daily News.

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