The city of Charleston's Martin Luther King Jr. Pool is scheduled to re-open in mid-March after undergoing a resurfacing and the installation of a new water heating system.

Jerry Ebeling, director of parks, said crews are doing the work now, with a target finish date of around March 15.

The pool, which is covered by a dome, has been closed since the first week of February.

While the resurfacing had been scheduled for some time, city documents say the project's timetable had to be elevated to "emergency repair status" because of leaking.

At its worst, the pool was losing 100,000 gallons of water each month, with a monthly dollar loss of about $1,000, Ebeling said.

Some of the heaviest leak points included around the lights and gutter.

The recent cold weather also created a power problem with the heating system that warranted replacing. The resurfacing will cost about $126,000.

City Councilwoman Kathleen Wilson, an avid swimmer, said the pool is the only 50-meter facility in the city. She described it as a "critical length" for competitive swimming.

"It's simply showing its age," she said of the 40-year-old pool.

Swimmers have gone to other pools in the meantime, she said.

Reach Schuyler Kropf at 937-5551