Serious Damage Discovered

Bad Luck Sours RIOC's Sportspark Reopening

Updated 11 weeks ago David Stone
Recently heard on Roosevelt Island Near Sportspark
Recently heard on Roosevelt Island Near Sportspark
CCO Public Domain

"We were very disappointed to discover that the pool had a leak in it which flooded the engine room Saturday," Shelton Haynes, RIOC's VP for Operations, told The Daily in what seems like an understatement. "The pool was half empty when the staff arrived, and they had to pump water out to the engine room all afternoon Saturday."

RIOC's President and CEO Susan Rosenthal had grown exasperated with the City Department of Buildings long delayed approval for reopening the facility, closed for necessary repairs and upgrades in August. Frustration with the holdup was aggravated by its not being caused by - and therefore not fixable by - any action on RIOC's part.

Hearing substantial rumors that the approval stalled inside the DOB's bureaucracy because of computer problems, Rosenthal and her team rallied support from the Mayor's Office, Council Member Ben Kallos and even Cornell Tech, which had established connections within DOB while recently working on its own approvals.

Something within that combination finally squeezed the needed paperwork out of DOB. A plumber was quickly brought in to make the connections that allowed ConEd to turn on the gas, the final major step before reopening.

RIOC's long awaited announcement of an opening was released and its website updated with new hours and a calendar for classes. Then came the discovery of flooding on Saturday.

"There is substantial damage which is still being assessed today," reports Haynes. "The pool was half empty when the staff arrived, and they had to pump water out to the engine room all afternoon Saturday."

An engine room with its equipment and wiring soaked creates a potential worse case scenario. Damages may be significant.

'We have RIOC staff, contractors, plumbers and electricians all addressing the issue. We will have a better assessment this week of what we are dealing with."

What caused the leak?

"Honestly, we had no idea" of any problem before the damage was discovered, said Haynes. "and you are very correct that it was both surprising as well as disappointing."

Rosenthal, Haynes and residents eager to get back into the pool will have their patience tested even longer as the team works to assess damages and correct them. It's anybody's guess how long that will take

In the meantime, the gym is open and ready for use. We will stay in touch with Haynes for updates.


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