Clarion Borough declares pool ‘obsolete’

Clarion Borough Council agreed this month to send a letter to the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources stating the borough pool, which a 1980’s DCNR grant helped build, is “obsolete.”

The letter is part of a long process of which the borough and Clarion Area School District are working.

Ultimately, the pool, building and infrastructure will be removed and the land will revert to school district control. Right now, the borough leases the pool property from the school district.

The costs of bringing the pool facility into full code compliance, even with more DCNR grant money, proved too much for the borough and it asked to be released from the lease agreement.

The school district is willing to do so and welcomes the chance to get the strip of land back for school use.

However, the DCNR grant money from the 1980s came with the restriction that land always remains a “public space.”

Clarion Area School District Superintendent Joe Carrico has said the school district intends to honor that requirement with a public “green space.”

Clarion Borough Council President Carol Lapinto said borough and school district officials met about two weeks ago to discuss where the process stands.

Both Lapinto and Carrico said the discussions have been cordial and productive.

Carrico said school district officials believe the pool facility can be removed and the land reclaimed by the end of summer 2023.

Carrico said discussion at the last session included choosing an architect to oversee the project.

“We are getting quotes from a couple of entities,” he said in an email exchange with the Clarion News.

Carrico said other questions have come up, of which the school district looks to resolve.

“The borough is getting the district a copy of the DCNR grant from 1985,” he said. “We would like to know who from the district collaborated with the borough with the DCNR grant process at that time.”

Lapinto said she recently spent time researching that question, but does not yet have a definitive answer for the school district.

Carrico indicated the school district has questions for the DCNR.

“We would like to be clear on the expectations, options and parameters for that property as a part of the transition process in preparation of the 2023 timeline,” he said.

Under the lease agreement, the borough and the school district are to split the costs of demolition and restoration equally.