Just three short years ago Mayor Bloomberg cut the ribbon on the new and improved McCarren Park Pool, after it was transformed by a two-year, $50 million renovation. Yet a little more than a year after Bloomberg pronounced "McClarren" open for swimming, an engineering firm produced a report criticizing the "overall poor quality of the project," and noted serious structural deficiencies in the construction that have yet to be fixed.
A draft of the report, written by the engineering firm HAKS at the request of the Parks Department, was obtained by Geoffrey Croft at NYC Park Advocates and is dated December 6, 2013. It focuses on McCarren's two main bathhouses.
"Soon after the reconstruction was completed, the building facades started showing severe signs of moisture infiltration, manifested by excess efflorescence on the brick, signs of water leakage through the roof and damp areas on the interior wall finishes, in particular around the windows and some ceiling areas," the report states, pointing to poor workmanship seen in a "lack of proper bond between brick and mortar," among other issues.
According to the report, the mortar leeches out from between the brick and creates white stains that were visible on the pool's opening day.
(Katie Sokoler / Gothamist)
"The appearance and the conditions of the buildings is unacceptable," the report concludes.
Croft's sources state that the necessary repairs haven't been made.
"We have no idea what we're doing," one employee of Parks' capital division says.
"We cover it up and lie and lie and lie. Silver (Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver) has no idea what going on, he's clueless. He keeps being lied to. Therese (Braddick, Deputy Commissioner, Capital Projects) and Jonna (Carmona-Graf, Chief of Capital Program Management) have no idea what they are doing. Instead of getting rid of the people who are responsible for these messes they're hiring more people for them to mismanage. It's unbelievable. Zero accountability. We are wasting tax payer money. They just don't care."
Croft's sources add that the general contractor on the project, Commodore Construction has filed several claims against the city.
"It's well known Parks' capital division is in shambles," Croft tells us. "What's alarming is that the elected officials refuse to fix it. The lack of addressing maintenance issues at the pool over the years is what caused it to be a $50 million dollar job in the first place."
Commodore Construction has not responded to our request for comment. The firm's website touts the McCarren Pool project on its front page.
The McCarren Park Pool renovations began under Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe and continued under Veronica White.
A Parks Department spokesman said a statement from the agency is forthcoming. We'll update when they send it.
[UPDATE] "McCarren Pool will reopen on schedule this summer," the Parks Department statement reads. "When necessary, NYC Parks has worked quickly to make repairs to the pool. The City commissioned the HAKS report to better understand structural issues concerning the McCarren Pool complex."