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Pocatello makes plans for new water slide as crews demolish old one

Logan Ramsey |
POCATELLO — The Ross Park Aquatic Complex slide in Pocatello is still being deconstructed and its presently unknown when the demolition of the standing tower will take place.
While there is no firm date for the demolition, city spokeswoman Marlise Irby says they plan to have the tower removed before the pool opens on May 27.
The Pocatello Street Department is working on the deconstruction of the slide, but it’s second to other priorities. Having the slide removed by city employees is estimated to save the city $200,000.
“The Street Department has the resources to perform that work,” said Tom Kirkman, Deputy Public Works Director. “When there’s an opportunity to refocus those operators, they could work on that and then be able to save the city the money by not paying a contractor to do it.”
RELATED | Crews begin demolition of Ross Park Aquatic Complex water slide
The city has talked about putting in a new slide that’s more modern, possibly with two slides coming off of the same tower. Parks Superintendent Brett Hewatt said the slide could also have an exit runway at the bottom, rather than a pool.
“I think that would be a huge attraction. (It would) keep people in town going to the slide instead of going elsewhere,” Hewatt said. “Especially the older kids, where lazy rivers can be less than exciting for a 13, 14, 15 year old.”
The building quote on constructing a new slide is estimated to cost at least $1 million. At a recent city council meeting, the Milder family donated $140,000 for the construction of the new slide.
So far, the city hasn’t put the project out for bid so there’s no set timeframe for when construction will begin. The soonest it’s expected to be operational is summer of 2025.
The majority of the slide has already been deconstructed. The street department crew is working to remove footings of the slide, which are the underground concrete sections that hold it up.
“We’re having to break those into small pieces,” Kirkman said.
After the slide is completely deconstructed, the demolition of the white tower where pool goers waited in line for a ride down the slide will take place.
“The tower is going to be challenging because we have two assets that are adjacent to that tower. We’re actually going to have to push the tower into itself to dismantle it,” Kirkman said.
The first step is to remove the cinder block roof, Kirkman says, and then they’ll rip out as much of the metal staircase as they can. Workers will then use man-lifts to knock the top 20 feet in on itself with jackhammers.
“We don’t want (debris) falling outside and end up landing on those other structures,” Kirkman said.
Inclement weather could pull them away from the project, which is why the city is reluctant to give a hard deadline for its completion.
Many Pocatellans have childhood memories of going down the slide. The city asks people who want to watch the demolition to stay in the parking lot at a safe distance.
The post Pocatello makes plans for new water slide as crews demolish old one appeared first on East Idaho News.

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