Designed by architect Wesley Bintz, the Cuscaden Pool was built in 1937 in the V.M. Ybor neighborhood and is one of the few remaining Bintz pools in the country.
The pool closed in 1997 due to leaks and sat unused for a few years. After it closure, the city considered turning it into an inline skating rink, but community members were against, including Mayor Dick Greco. In 2002, the city set aside $3 million to restore the pool and construction began in 2003. It was completed in 2005.
By 2010, it was leaking again and Mayor Pam Iorio had it shut down.
In November 2013, council members demanded something to be done to preserve the pool and wanted Mayor Bob Buckhorn to find $1.5 million within the city budget to stabilize the structure. Dennis Rogero, Buckhorn’s chief of staff and former budget director, said putting money into the pool means taking away from another city park and suggested putting the Cuscaden’s repairs on the 2015 budget.
This past Thursday, city council members met to get a cost estimate of modernizing Cuscaden Pool while retaining its historic features. The plan calls for building a brand new pool in the interior while retaining the historic fabric of the exterior.
One after another, residents urged City Council members to repair and restore the pool. “You have one of the most gorgeous pools I have ever laid eyes on, and we’re letting it sit and rot,” one resident said.
As with repairs in the past, council members want to make sure it doesn’t become a money pit before putting any into it. They have given staff members 4 months to find out what can and can’t be done to fix the pool, and how much it will cost.