Karls: Decision to demolish Camp Humiston Pool wasn’t made lightly

 

Protesters had attempted to save the Camp Humiston Pool, but Pontiac City Manager Bob Karls said the damage was too extensive to salvage the entire pool. (WJEZ/Cat Coppinger)

By Patrick Baron

PONTIAC – The Camp Humiston Memorial Pool in Pontiac has been demolished, despite the efforts of a group of local protesters urging the city to keep the pool standing.

Originally built in 1925, the pool was one of America’s only above ground public pools. Protesters had planned to sit in front of the pool to prevent its destruction, but after some group members met with city administrators, they conceded that the pool couldn’t be kept up or refurbished.

Pontiac City Manager Bob Karls said the pool had become a safety hazard for people who would sneak in.

“The rebar acts as the bone structure to the facility and it has lost structural integrity,” said Karls.

The pool itself had not been in operation for over a decade. Karls noted the city will attempt to reconstruct the pool’s facade and put up some signs to ensure the memory of the pool lives on for a long time to come.

“What we’re going to be doing is salvaging significant portions of the front and reconstruct the facade as best as we can,” Karls said. “Then have storyboards talking about the pool, its history, and its significance in Pontiac history.”

Karls added while the city council didn’t want to see the pool torn down due to its historic significance, the safety concerns were too great to ignore.

“This was not a decision the city council made lightly,” Karls explained. “Nobody wanted this to happen but the deterioration continued and was not reversible.”

Karls said it cost the city $35,000 to tear down the pool.

Patrick Baron can be reached at patrick.baron@cumulus.com.

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