BAY POINT -- Recreation board members will meet next month to decide how best to spend available funds for improvements to Ambrose Park after bids that came in too high sunk plans for a proposed children's pool at the site.

The public meeting of the Ambrose Recreation and Park District, which will be held at 6:30 p.m. May 23 at the Ambrose Community Center in Bay Point, was announced at the board's monthly meeting Thursday night.

The district closed the lap pool at Ambrose Park in 2009 for safety reasons and planned to replace it with the children's pool after public meetings resulted in a master plan for the park. But the lowest bid for the children's pool came in last October about $700,000 higher than the $1.7 million in voter-approved bonds from the East Bay Regional Park District's Measure WW that were available for construction costs.

Ambrose Park is in Pittsburg and near the BART station, but the 12-acre park is owned and maintained by the park district.

Board members had originally opted for the irregularly shaped children's pool because its shallow depth -- 18 inches -- would result in lower maintenance costs than a lap pool, while providing a facility that could be used by both children and adults.

The May 23 meeting will focus on three options: repairing the lap pool; going forward with the children's pool; or scrapping plans for a pool in favor of other improvements such as an amphitheater, a new full-court basketball facility and two new tennis courts that were included in the park's master plan.

At Thursday night's meeting, a few people, including four children, spoke in favor of repairing the lap pool, which was built more than 60 years ago, so it can be used again.

"I want the pool to be open so me and my brother can learn to swim and we can have a party there," said Briana Reyes, who attends kindergarten at Delta View Elementary School in Pittsburg.

Board member Eva Garcia said long ago the pool "was a great place, but the age of the pool is showing. It should not be operated. It's a danger to children."

Lupe Lopez-Garcia said the pool has indeed seen better days.

"The pool was really nice, but it was falling down," she said. "It is a liability." Still, she said ,"I wish we could open it."

Board member Judy Dawson said there are problems with the old pool that cannot be fixed with repairs. Besides safety issues, it does not meet Americans with Disability Act guidelines.

"I would love to have the pool open," Dawson said. "But we have to go accordingly with what information we have and the restrictions we have."

She said it was crucial that people attend the May 23 meeting to make their feelings known about what direction the district should take.

"This would be another jewel for Bay Point to have this done," she said.

In January, board members indicated they wanted to hold public hearings on developing new plans for how best to spend available funds to make park improvements after the bids came in too high.¿ But the board delayed setting meeting dates after learning in February that more money might become available through the sale of property it owns at Willow Pass Road and Clearland Drive, just down the street from the Ambrose Community Center.

Whether the district might find itself with additional funds as a result of the possible sale of the Clearland parcel could be known when the district holds its regular May meeting before the May 23 meeting.

"We'll know if we are going to add any additional funds to the base," said Tarry Smith, the park district's general manager.

Contact Eve Mitchell at 925-779-7189. Follow her at Twitter.com/EastCounty_Girl.