South St. Paul is considering whether to open Northview Pool for "one last hurrah" this summer before it is shut down due to a myriad of necessary repairs.

To open this spring, the 68-year-old "box pool" would need several smaller repairs, including patching up several areas and fixes to its mechanical systems and showers, said Shannon Young, the city's parks and recreation director. The costs are still being calculated but could be significant, she said.

"It's old. We've made it work for many, many years," Young said of the pool, which holds 250,000 gallons of water and ranges from three to 12 feet in depth. It was first opened in 1956.

South St. Paul Mayor Jimmy Francis said he worries most about the pool's leaks. A city memo said the water loss – about 12,000 gallons per day – would cost $20,000 per season if the pool was a regular utility customer. "Can we stop that and be open for the year and have one last hurrah?" Francis said.

Long-term, the pool needs $2 million in repairs. Just fixing the most critical problems would require a $1.3 million investment between 2024 and 2025. Repairing the old pool isn't on the table, Young said.

Young said the community's pools, including a splash pool at Lorraine Park, "are very coveted by our community." Residents have made it clear they want a new pool, she said.

The city, which will finish a new parks master plan by late April, must decide between several future options. They include tearing down the existing pool and building a new box pool on the existing site at Northview Park or building a new box pool at Lorraine Park. Another option: don't replace the box pool at all but add a splash pad and other amenities at Northview and replace the existing splash pool at Lorraine Park, adding other features.

Rep. Rick Hansen, DFL-South St. Paul, introduced a bill this session that would dedicate $500,000 to the design of a new pool and aquatics center in South St. Paul.