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Bubble pool?
Alderman Kate Alsbrook says a bubble dome over Gilley Pool is a much more affordable option to year-round swimming than constructing a new indoor pool facility.

Consideration is being given to placing a giant bubble over Gilley Pool. 

A dome enclosure would allow users the ability to swim year round in the outdoor pool, for both recreation and competition. Alderman Kate Alsbrook says this could be a better option than constructing an indoor lap pool. 

“An air-supported dome would allow the city to use the existing pool for recreation and competition,” said Alsbrook. “The pool could be domed by the end of next season and create a revenue stream during the completion of the Civic Center project.”

Arizon Building Systems, a company headquartered in St. Louis, has been contacted for information. 

“They have HVAC and dehumidification units customized for each structure that’s supposed to help with mildew,” she said. “The materials are a little bit different. Technology has changed. The city of Cheshire spent around 1,500 hours in 2013 researching what design worked best for their pool. They started with 11 different options then narrowed it down to three. The city chose a tension-membrane structure instead of another air-supported dome. They used Arizon Building Systems. Even though they went with a different structure, their research is something to take note of.” 

Average cost of an air-supported dome is $18 to $25 per square foot.

“The construction time and cost of the structure appear to be the most economic option available at this time,” said Alsbrook.

City officials are currently considering construction of an indoor lap pool. Most recent estimates place the cost of a 25-meter by 25-yard lap pool with a pre-engineered building at between $3 million and $3.5 million. Preliminary design plans presented to the city by Griggs & Maloney Engineering depicted a larger facility with more amenities at an estimated cost of up to $7.5 million.