It happened suddenly as most disasters do. On a bright sunny day in 2019 the center piece of Bare Mountain activities suddenly gave way. Yes, the aging pool support structure had failed resulting in a large leak and a rapidly draining pool. Many of the members thought that the summer would be lost without the pool and weekly water volleyball. Thus began a two-year odyssey that culminated in July 2021 with the grand opening of the new greatly improved pool and pool deck.
Rather than throwing up their hands and weeping, Bare Mountain members immediately got to work. The damage was inspected and a temporary fix put into place in hopes that the pool would last until the end of the 2019 season. The membership also began the task of planning and budgeting for the large-scale task of replacing the pool. The project eventually grew to include the complete reconstruction of the pool base, substructure and liner. This included moving the pool a couple of feet to the west. In addition, the deck would be enlarged. All of these plans necessitated the removal of a large tree whose roots were a source of concern. Fortunately, Bare Mountain is well run and had adequate reserves to see this project to completion.
The reconstruction project was set to begin in 2020. Of course, COVID-19 had other plans and Bare Mountain quickly realized that it would be foolish to attempt such a huge people intensive task in the midst of a pandemic. The pool reconstruction was delayed. Ongoing vigilance and minor repairs allowed the pool to remain open for members only during the 2020 season. Everyone was grateful to eek out another season with the badly damaged pool.
Before reconstruction could begin, the existing pool needed to be deconstructed. This part of the project began in the fall of 2020. Everything was removed including the pool liner, metal support structure and all of the wooden supports for the pool and deck. The existing Trex decking was pulled up and stored to be reused later. A 70-foot tree in the middle of the deck and adjacent to the pool was cut down and removed. Preliminary wiring from the light pole to the outhouse was completed. The hole where the pool had resided was back filled and prepped before the winter snows set in. The order for the new pool was placed. Everyone left the Mountain with fingers crossed that we would be able to rebuild the following year.
Once the snows melted, members began returning to Bare Mountain in the spring of 2021. The pool reconstruction project could begin in earnest. Bare Mountain is blessed to have members with many skills who all contributed their expertise. However, like most projects at a co-op, there was a core of 5-6 dedicated and hard-working members who toiled diligently everyday moving the construction project towards completion. These members were supplemented on weekends when others were able assist. In addition, there was an over two week stretch where the daily temperatures were in the high 90’s or low 100’s. To avoid some of the heat work began at 6:00 AM each day.
Bare Mountain members competed all of the work themselves including engineering, grading the adjacent road, creating the pad for the pool, setup of the metal frame and pool liner, construction of the new wood substructure, electrical, plumbing, installation of the new pool heater and filter, building the retaining wall, installation of the greatly extended Trex deck, building a new shower with 50-gallon electric water header, reinstalling fencing, lots of grunt labor, etc. Then there were those that placed and transported orders for the materials. Lots and lots of materials were used. See the Materials List below. Not to be forgotten are those that fed the hungry workers and assured they stayed hydrated in the brutal heat of 2021. Thank you one and all.Here is a list of the building materials.
100 feet 4X12 black cedar glue lam beam
15 4’X1/4” steel posts with custom brackets and paint
240 16’ sections of Pebble gray Trex
53 4X4 pressure treated posts in addition to usable salvaged posts
75 80# bags of cement
82+ concrete pier blocks
8 pallets (432) 61# retaining wall block, plus usable salvaged block
19 4’ sonor tubes
90’ of 3/8″ rebar (pump-filter-heater slab)
2 dump truck loads of sand
8000 2 ½“ deck screws
10,000+ construction screws
100 hurricane clips
150 each 3/8” bolts, nuts and lock washers
300 fender washers
7 new sections of metal fence
Finally, on July 10, 2021 just in time for National Skinny Dip Day, the Pool Reconstruction project leader cut the ribbon signifying the grand opening of the new 42′ x 21′ pool and party deck. Members wasted no time enjoying the water whether relaxing on a float or playing an energetic game of water volleyball.
We wish to thank all those who helped on this project and invite our guests to come to Bare Mountain Retreat and enjoy the new pool.
Below is a photo gallery showing the progress of the reconstruction project from beginning to end.