Watch CBS News

Delays with Denver recreation center pool project raising concerns with residents: "Is this normal?"

Delays with Colorado recreation center pool project raising concerns with residents
Delays with Colorado recreation center pool project raising concerns with residents 02:40

In the Green Valley Ranch neighborhood, some Denver residents are asking why it is taking so long to open the pools and waterslides at the Green Valley Ranch Recreation Center.

The project is slated to cost $15 million. The funding is coming from the Elevate Denver Bond Program, which voters approved in 2017.

Elevate Denver is a 10-year, $937 million general obligation bond program to enhance the City and County of Denver, providing crucial improvements to the city's infrastructure. 

Those improvements include roads, sidewalks, parks, recreation centers, libraries, cultural and safety facilities, according to the City of Denver's website. The projects vary and are located throughout the city with a goal of improving infrastructure across Denver neighborhoods.

Crews were scheduled to finish the Green Valley Ranch Recreation Center's natatorium last spring, but a year later, one resident found herself frustrated realizing it is still under construction.


Construction for the pool began in 2021.

76-year-old Julie McCrea, who describes herself as a snowbird—meaning she leaves every winter for a warmer area—came back in May. She was looking forward to some water aerobics this summer at Green Valley Ranch Recreation Center but was upset when she realized that was not going to happen.

For the past three years, McCrea has depended on classes at the rec center to stay fit.

"I've really enjoyed the instructors, and I enjoyed the time," said McCrea.

After a couple of health issues, her doctor limited her ability to exercise as much as she would like.

"I had an emergency appendectomy and was told by the doctor because of my age, that I needed to decide for myself how much exercise I could be putting in," said McCrea. "I was hoping the pool was going to be open for water aerobics."

McCrea had been hoping for this for months.

"I was really disappointed. I thought for sure it would be up and running," said McCrea.

The Denver Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, which is overseeing the project, says it is still not ready for public use due to a couple of reasons that have caused delays.

After quality assurance testing, the city determined the pools were not meeting specifications for watertightness.

As a solution, the general contractor proposed a waterproofing material at no additional cost. Then there was a topcoat issue.

"Is this normal for this type of situation? I don't know," said McCrea.


Though none of the extra work by the contractor will cost the city, according to DOTI, it is costing hopeful visitors like McCrea, who have long waited for the opening of the aquatic facility. 

Nancy Kuhn, spokesperson for DOTI, adds the city issued a notice of claim to the designer and the contractor for the issues found, giving them an opportunity to fix "this unacceptable condition within 90 days," otherwise, the city is considering pursuing litigation.

The contractors are now within that 90-day period, and if the contractor is able to resolve the topcoat situation, the pools should be open for public use by fall 2024.

The latest on ongoing projects can be found on the city's program progress dashboard

The plan is to construct a 16,000 square-foot facility that will include two pools, one designated for swimming laps. It will have four lanes and reach a depth of 9 feet. The other pool will be a bit shallower and include a 100-foot-long lazy river.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.