comscore City mulls new option for Natatorium
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City mulls new option for Natatorium

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    City officials are grappling with what to do with the deteriorating War Memorial Natatorium in Waikiki, shown here in June 2015.

Expect a final decision on the future of the troubled Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium to be made by spring 2019, Mayor Kirk Caldwell said at a news conference today.

Besides restoring the pool of the 1927 facility and tearing the structure down to open up a beach, a third option has emerged that would retain the bleachers and arches, and reconstructs the pool deck using a new support system and allowing for the free flow of water between the swim basin and the ocean.

Creating the so-called “perimeter deck” option would cost between $20 million and $30 million, Caldwell said.

Reconstruction and restoration would cost between $40 million and $60 million while creating a beach, which would be accompanied by a replica memorial arch, would also cost between $20 million and $30 million, he said.

Caldwell said the city does not yet know how much in annual maintenance and operations cost each alternative would entail.

A fourth alternative would be to do nothing, but Caldwell said that is not an option. He said he has been inclined to choose a beach-only option, but is willing to look at the new option, if it’s deemed feasible, since the two versions appear to be in the same price range according to preliminary data.

After public hearings on the draft environmental impact statement in fall 2018, a final EIS is expected to be released in spring 2019.

Caldwell said he hopes work can begin before he is scheduled to leave office in January 2021.

Correction: An earlier version of this story said that Mayor Caldwell expects a final decision on the future of the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium by this coming summer. In fact, a draft environmental impact statement is expected by next summer and a final decision is expected by spring 2019.
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