Marshall White pool closes

The swimming pool at the Marshall White Center in Ogden sits, drained and empty, in this Friday, March 16, 2018, photo. The pool develped five large cracks in its concrete surface sometime before March 5 and was subsequently closed.

OGDEN — The swimming pool at the Marshall White Center has closed indefinitely, due to large cracks that have suddenly appeared in its concrete surfaces.

“Last week, there were some stress cracks that started showing up in the bottom of the pool,” said Justin Anderson, Ogden City’s deputy director for public services. “They showed up in multiple places. We basically drained the pool, and we’re having some people come to look at it and give us a determination of what needs to happen.”

Juan Martinez, recreation supervisor for the Marshall White Center, said it was apparent there was a problem on Monday, March 5.

“We got here that morning, and the pool water was down 8 inches,” Martinez said. “We knew something was going on.”

A closer inspection found five lengthy fractures — two of which extend across the entire width of the bottom of the pool — in its concrete surfaces.

That evening, a post from the Marshall White Center Facebook page said the swimming pool would be closed on Tuesday, March 6, explaining: “We are currently doing some modifications to our system. Sorry for the inconvenience.”

That post was then updated at 5 p.m. March 6 to read: “The Marshall White Center swimming pool will be closed Tuesday March 6th and Wednesday March 7th. We anticipate reopening Thursday March 8th.”

But on March 8 came another post with the bad news: “Attention Marshall White Patrons! Until Further Notice the Marshall White Center Pool Will be Closed.”

Story continues below photo.

Marshall White pool closes 2

Juan Martinez, recreation supervisor for the Marshall White Center, in Ogden, points out cracks that developed in the concrete surface of the center's swimming pool sometime before March 5, 2018. The pool was subsequently drained and now sits empty while city officials weigh their options. Photo taken Friday, March 16, 2018.

Martinez said concrete pools often get surface cracks in them, but these go much deeper. He says perhaps most disheartening is that the cracks split some of the tiles at the bottom of the pool.

“The cracks didn’t follow the grout lines, but split right across the tile,” Martinez said. “That tells you the pool is under a great deal of stress.”

Anderson said it’s too early to know what happened, what can be done or how long the pool might be out of service. He said the city would be bringing in experts to analyze the cracks, see how extensive the problem is and make suggestions.

“That’s what we’re trying to gather right now,” Anderson said. “We’re asking, ‘Can it be fixed?’ ‘What would the cost be?’ ‘Is it even worth fixing?’”

Martinez said the indoor pool is well-used by the community. Swimming lessons, water aerobics, kayaking classes for children and adults, open-swim sessions — all add up to a busy community pool. The pool is also used by the Morgan High School swim team, as well as Ogden Preparatory Academy.

“The neighborhood kids are heartbroken,” Martinez said. “Last week was a rough one for me, having to tell all these kids they couldn’t go swimming.”

Martinez has been a fan of the pool all his life. The 45-year-old attended the old Lewis Elementary School in Ogden and remembers swimming in the pool with his older brother.

And therein may lie part of the problem: The pool’s 50th anniversary is coming up on Oct. 18.

“It’s not a spring chicken,” Anderson said.

Martinez concurred, saying, “I just don’t know the shelf life of a pool like this.”

All other activities and services at the Marshall White Center remain open, according to Martinez.

Contact Mark Saal at 801-625-4272, or Follow him on Twitter at @Saalman. Friend him on Facebook at

(2) comments


As I recall, a significant amount of $$$ was spent renovating the Lorin Farr pool sometime in the past 5-10 years, and that pool is even older than the one at Marshall White.  As a 30 year resident of Ogden, I'm also in favor of spending the money to renovate the Marshall White pool because of its value to the community.  I'm over 50 years old, and I have some cracks in my surface as well! ;-)  Glad to hear that Mack received a membership card at no charge also--our vets deserve the best!


Nice read Mark. Please use my tax $$$ for repairs! Stopped in for a swim last fall, presented my punch pass, "Not valid any longer", Asked if I was military, Retired with 21 years in the Air Force and a Vietnam Vet. I was handed a membership charge, I was shocked! MW is quite a compliment to the city and a great gym, use it often.Mack 

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