WARWICK, RI — McDermott Pool, which has been closed since March 2020, is undergoing repairs and is on track to open as soon as they’re complete, Mayor Frank Picozzi announced Friday.
Last spring, in response to the COVID outbreak, then-Mayor Joseph J. Solomon closed all public parks, beaches and recreational facilities to the public to limit the spread of the virus, including Warwick’s Parks and Recreation Department, which includes McDermott Pool, as well as Thayer and Warburton Arenas.
As other pools in the state found a way to open, Solomon was adamant the McDermott Pool closure was necessary to reduce COVID spread, even as high school athletes rallied in support of getting it reopened last fall.
In a statement released Friday, Picozzi said while the previous administration claimed the pool was closed due to COVID-19 concerns, after he toured the pool in his first few days in office, he discovered “several mechanical issues due to lack of maintenance,” which he said were the true cause of the closure.
One of Picozzi’s first priorities in office was to get the pool back open, having heard complaints from constituents. When he went there to find a way to make that happen, he was told about the mechanical issues.
Those issues include finding one of the three furnaces that heat the pool beyond repair and the other two also in need of repairs.
“The lack of maintenance was the number one reason as to why the pool was shut down and why it hasn’t opened,” Picozzi told the Warwick Post.
Work to repair the damage has already begun and the Warwick City Council already approved the $60,000 in funding needed to get the pool back up and running.
Picozzi says the pool should be open before the summer season with all COVID-19 safety protocols in place.