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Public can take the plunge at North Shore in a week

(ran Beach, East, South editions)

North Shore Pool reopens to the public Jan. 10 with a new lining, fixed leak and repainted locker rooms.

The Olympic-size pool at 901 North Shore Drive NE closed Oct. 29 for the lining work, but recreation officials took advantage of the down time to do other things as well.

"We are a seven-day, year-round operation," said Gretchen Tenbrock, aquatics manager. "That gives us little time to take care of ongoing repair needs."

While the pool was closed, the main job was putting in a new lining, for which the City Council approved $320,290. It is made of Pebble Sheen, a brand name for an aggregate surfacing material held together with concrete bonding, Tenbrock said. In choosing this material, Tenbrock said she talked with St. Petersburg Aquatics and St. Petersburg Masters, two competitive swim clubs, to find out what coaches and swimmers preferred.

Apparently the rougher surface of the new lining has been praised for giving more traction on flip turns.

Six swim teams from other parts of the county and country are using the pool for practice in the city's milder weather. Six more will join them today for a total of 120 people working out at North Shore.

The public is not returning until Jan. 10 so a leak can be fixed.

"We were in the process of having repairs made when the leak was discovered," Tenbrock said. It is between the pump house and the side of the pool, so it did not delay refilling of the pool. It will require, though, digging up the deck area near the pump house. The pool company fixing the leak could not start until this week, she said.

Plans call for a second, smaller pool to be built at North Shore, probably this year. Tenbrock said she did not know when construction would begin.

Information from Times files was used in this report.

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