Madison Aquatic Center not able to open this summer; city came up with new way to keep kids cool

Local News

MADISON, S.D. (KELO) — This hot weather has many people flocking to pools to cool off, but in Madison, that isn’t an option.

While many pools are open for the summer, the Madison Aquatic Center is empty. Last winter, a ventilation system in the pool’s chemical room failed – chemicals then leaked out and caused corrosion in the pump room.

“If you look over here inside this electrical panel, you can see these are copper strips. They’re green now. They’ve been oxidized and they’re completely green,” Madison utility director Brad Lawrence said.

All of those electrical components must be replaced including circuit breakers and the motor control center. Using the equipment now could cause a fire or electrical shock.

“The odds of those things are pretty low, and we understand that, but in our world where we come from, safety is number one, and we have to take care of the public. I mean, we have to protect the public from all hazards. That’s part of this process,” Lawrence said.

Diagnosing and fixing the problem takes time, so the City of Madison has come up with another way to keep kids cool this summer.

“One thing that the fire department’s been leading up is splash zones,” Madison city administrator Jameson Berreth said. “It’s something that many cities did last year due to the coronavirus. And so twice a week, we are having our youth be able to go to different parks around town and play with different water features and toys.”

A temporary fix, until the pool is ready to reopen. The splash zones are every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

It is unlikely the pool will reopen this summer. Once they receive the parts needed to do the repairs, which may not happen until mid-July, Berreth said there’s not enough time or staff to be open for only one month.

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