A reimagination of design for a new bathhouse in Syracuse met a number of concerns on Wednesday night at the July meeting of the Syracuse City Council.
Carolyn Gigstad of the Syracuse Bathhouse Committee joined representatives from engineering firm JEO in presenting the new design to the council. The design flipped a layout from a previous plan presented to the council and allowed for cost cutting associated with cement work, thus bringing the overall cost of the project down.
Among the concerns raised Wednesday were issues dealing with concessions, visibility and functionality at the new structure.
Syracuse Mayor Tomas “Kc” Ortiz said the discussions were not meant to be discouragement to the committee, residents, or  supporters of the bathhouse efforts.
“I just want to make sure that everyone is aware of the concerns and that we are addressing all this and really thinking through all of this before we just jump forward into a design that’s not feasible—it’s not functional, it’s not relevant for what we really need,” Ortiz said.
The concern regarding visibility pointed to features of the new design that limited the view of the western side of the building. Ortiz said there have been issues with patrons on the west side of the building in the past and said he would like to see an arrangement of the bathhouse that would allow for monitoring of both the pool side and the reverse side of the building.
Concessions were also discussed. The new design presented Wednesday allows for two windows for concession sales, one facing the pool side and one facing the park side. Staffing the area was indicated as a concern as the pool would have to add at least one employee in order to run both windows simultaneously. There were also questions about how much the park-side window would be used, since, outside of tee ball practice, there is not a lot of traffic coming from that side.
Council member Laramie Werner said she understood the concerns associated with having two windows but also said that, if a second window could be had without a great additional cost, it could be included and used when concessions sales were likely on the park side.
It was also mentioned that, just over two years ago, concessions were not offered at the pool as snacks and drinks were made available through vending machines. Interest in concessions led to a stand being added and that effort has been profitable for the pool since.
Mayor Ortiz brought up the point that the chemical room, which is not a focus of the bathhouse project, appears to be deteriorating and thought that some attention might go to that building as part of this effort.
Council member Deb Dettmer said discussions about the chemical room were had at the beginning of the bathhouse discussion, but, for unknown reasons, were dropped.
Consultants from JEO told the city council members that they would draw up another plan in an attempt to provide a design that better suits the needs of the city by addressing concerns. That plan would be presented at Aug. 14 meeting of the city council.
In a vote on the bathhouse matter, the city council voted to move forward with the application process for a grant from the Game and Parks Land and Water Conservation.