To all you baffled Woodrow Wilson High School students who have waited more than two years to have your $3.08-million, indoor swimming pool completed; to all you harried Chevy Chase swimmers who have reluctantly packed away your water wings for the summer, an announcement.
Your community pool is not finished yet.
But contractors working on the project say the end is near.
"We're finalizing it now, and it should be open in a couple of weeks," said Robert Spikes, project manager for the William Klingensmith Construction Co., the Maryland firm building the pool.
Construction on the pool began in June 1976, said Spikes. February 1978 was set as the opening date. However, unforeseen delays, such as leaks, architectural changes and severe weather, slowed down construction.
The opening date was then extended to April. Then June. And so on, and so on . . .
Although the firm's contract with the city carries a penalty clause, Spike said the firm would try to persuade the city to waive the penalty fees by explaining that they had no control over the delays.
Sam Starobin, director of the D.C. General Services Department, said his staff has not yet determined what the penalty fees would be, if any.
"It's going to be a nice pool," said Spikes. "It's the most sophiscated pool in the District. No doubt about that."
The pool is actually three pools. A large pool is divided into racing and diving pools by a movable bulkhead extended across it, and a small training pool runs parallel to the larger one.
The racing section of the main pool has eight lanes, underwater lights and an electronic digital scoreboard. Events can be measured in feet of meters.
Three diving boards dominate the diving section of the pool, which also has an underwater observation booth and a spotting mechanism for divers.
Two rampways lead to an air-condidtioned, glass-enclosed observation balcony that seats about 250 people and to an outdoor sun deck.
James Tompkins Jr., director of the D.C. Recreation Department aquatic division, said the recreation department will run an after-school community program at the pool after it has been inspected and approved by school officials.
Tompkins said the Chevy Chase community has been fighting for an indoor community pool since 1947. Funds for the project were finally put in the school budget about two years ago, he said.