swim center update approved

Last night commissioners took the final step toward a renovated municipal pool by approving five contracts for the $4.3 million project. On September 3, as kids head back to school, contractors will begin work, with completion set for May 2014, in time for the swim season. To ensure work is complete, contractors will be fined if they do not meet the timetable set in the contracts. The pool will include a heater, a beach entry so swimmers of all ages and abilities can enter and exit easily, two waterslides and a climbing wall. The bathhouse will be completely renovated to allow swimmers to walk right into the pool area from the pay booth. The diving board and 50-meter competitive swim portion will remain. Other items originally suggested for the pool, such as bleachers and a tot spray ground, are not included due to cost.

Since the project, which includes several alternate items, was roughly $900,000 more than the budget called for, commissioners agreed to pull money from some other planned recreation projects, such as upgrades to the municipal golf course. Recreation director David Donnellan said while those projects are important, he believes the pool is a priority among them. “This is a high profile project that impacts every age group in the municipality,” he told the commission. Further, he said the upgrades he suggested were ones he believes will generate the most revenue, by attracting more swimmers.”We want it to be the best possible chance to be a self-sustaining project.”

The alternates that Donnellan said would give the municipality the most “bang for the buck” include $119,100 for improved drainage at the east end of the pool deck, $19,900 for an upgrade to the gas line, $263,000 for a dual water slide (a tall, enclosed slide and a longer, curly slide) and $104,000 for features in the shallow portion of the zero-depth entry area. The climbing wall, which will cost $37,000, is not part of the contract. To save money, the municipality will buy that separately and install it on its own.

The five prime contractors are: Plavchak Construction Company, Vrabel Plumbing Co., R&B Mechanical, Bronder Technical Services and Chester Pool Systems. Interestingly, Chester is the original installer of the aluminum pool.

Video from last night’s meeting will be uploaded later today. To hear the commissioners talk about the issue at the discussion meeting and vote on it at the regular meeting, click here. Click on the meeting you’d like to hear and then click on the agenda item to skip to the specific discussions.

For our previous coverage on pool renovations, click here.