The Pahoa Community Aquatic Center reopened Monday following completion of a $1.5 million renovation project that has enhanced the operation and usability of the popular swimming pool.
Pastor Alan Tamashiro delivered the blessing as swimmers waited to enter the pool for the first time since the Department of Parks and Recreation closed it temporarily in January so construction work could begin.
Roof-mounted solar heating panels have been installed to warm the pool water, while new circulation pumps and a variable-frequency drive motor will reduce energy use and start-up time following an electrical outage. Isemoto Contracting Co. Ltd. also enlarged the equipment building to accommodate the new pumps, and repaired leaks to the pool basin, surge gutter and drain lines.
County employees performed various maintenance tasks that included roof repairs, painting and refinishing the keiki pool’s play fountain and tiling.
Mayor Billy Kenoi thanked the public for its patience while the renovation work was occurring at a recreational facility he said serves as a pu‘uhonua or safe haven for families.
He was joined by Puna Councilman Zendo Kern, a fellow Puna native who revealed the first time he jumped from a diving board was a the Pahoa Community Aquatic Center.
“This is such a needed thing in Puna,” Kern said. “It’s so used.”
To accommodate that demand, the Department is implementing new operating hours starting today. The pool will be open weekends from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., except for a lunchtime closure from 1-2 p.m. Weekday hours will be 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
For more information, call Cassandra at 965-2700 or check the Aquatics section of the Department’s website, http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/parks-and-recreation/.