Task force hopes to start on pool soon
The recreation facilities task force hopes it will be able to put out bid requests for the proposed outdoor pool after the task force meets with the Community Attraction and Tourism board July 9.
The task force won’t learn exactly how much money it will receive from the CAT board until August, but it will get a rough idea of that amount at the July 9 meeting. Jane McMahon, chairwoman of the pool and gym task force facilities subcommittee, said today the task force hopes to get the “green light” at the July 9 meeting to start on the pool portion of the project by putting it out for bids.
“The CAT board knows we’re really hoping to get the pool started,” she said. “They’re trying to work with us to give us an indication of how much money they’ll award us.”
The task force could receive as much as $1.8 million from the CAT board, although the committee members do not expect to receive that much.
McMahon said the timetable the task force is working under is to start construction on the pool this fall and for it to be finished in June 2015. As discussed at earlier task force and city council meetings, the plan is to build the outdoor pool south and west of the indoor pool at the Roosevelt Community Recreation Center, because the two pools could share facilities such as locker rooms.
The gym will likely be finished after the pool. McMahon said she hopes groundbreaking on the gym will occur this fall, but it might have to wait until spring. However, she said that would not delay the construction of the gym itself because the task force has opted to build a pre-engineered metal building, which can be built in a shop during the winter. McMahon said there is a chance the gym could open as early as the fall of 2015. She said one advantage of a pre-engineered building is that it will contain fewer windows and therefore cost less.
Neumann Monson Architects has recently released a couple of schematic drawings of the two main entrances to the rec center. The drawing of the east entrance depicts large glass windows through which outside onlookers can see all that is transpiring inside. The other entrance will be from the north and will connect the former school building to the new gymnasium.
The price tag of the pool/gym project was revised earlier this year to reflect the reduced revenue owing to the defeat of the March 4 vote that would have generated $1 million for the project had it passed. The task force and park board met March 12 and decided to scale back the pool project so it would only cost $3.8 million, as well as reduce the gym project’s price from $6.2 million to $4.7 million. McMahon said the current estimate for the cost of the pool and gym combined is $8.8 million.
The task force is relying heavily on the generosity of the general public to donate to the project.
“If there are any donors out there waiting for the end, now is the time,” McMahon said.
A few donors have placed conditions on their donations, such as withholding the money until the committee has secured in pledges the amount equal to the project costs. Once the committee has those pledges, it will take out a loan to pay the contractors and the architect for their work.
“We’re trying to be as conservative as possible by not spending any money,” McMahon said. “We’re trying to have all the plans ready to go as soon as CAT tells us we’re getting the money.”