Archive for Thursday, August 17, 2006

Consultant proposes 2008 pool opening

August 17, 2006

Pushing back the referendum date for a pool and recreation center from April to August might have helped it win voter approval, but might have moved the opening of the new pool to May 2008.

Project manager Tom Arpin of BG Consultants approached the Eudora City Council Monday with three options to amend his company's design contract with the city and offer a new target date to get the complex finished.

"Our task tonight is to revise an amendment to the original agreement for the design for the aquatic and recreation facility, back in November," Arpin said.

All three options signaled a departure from Arpin's original timeline, which was based on an April vote for the pool. Arpin endorsed a plan that would ultimately push back the grand opening to May 29, 2008.

"This would get you the best prices from the design process, and also for the construction process," he said.

With approval of the amendment, BG Consultants could start designing the complex, Arpin said. Should that happen, the city could start bidding for the project in February and construction on the complex would begin in March, Arpin said.

"In that particular schedule, the swim season for next year would be eliminated," Arpin said.

The next option would delay the process until the end of August 2007, allowing for a full swim season.

"But basically what you're doing is delaying everything seven to eight months and not starting construction on the new project until after next summer's swim season," Arpin said. "What happens there obviously is we're going to have seven to eight months of inflation and fuel and material prices going up."

The third option would push through the design and bidding processes and attempt to open the new pool by next August.

"We tried to brainstorm and get the thing open for at least a month next summer," Arpin said.

That option would start the bidding process by January and hinge on good weather and willing contractors ---- both of which could be an issue, Arpin said.

"The recreation center part of that could lag behind, but it would start creating a lot of problems for the contractor," Arpin said.

The fact baseball games would be occurring at the same time would also cause issues, Arpin said.

"Most of the contractors would see that and say 'I can't do it. I'm not going to bid it. I'm not going to waste my time,'" Arpin said.

Council members seemed surprised by the talk of delay.

Councilman Bill Whitten wanted more information.

"I think we need to find out what the contractors would be able to do and the timeframe they could have before we make a plan," Whitten said.

Whitten asked if the design process could be sped up.

"If we up our schedule, we can do our part of it in three to four months," Arpin said.

Other pieces would need to fall into place before the bidding process started, like obtaining soil samples, Arpin said.

"It would take one month for geologists to drill and analyze it," Arpin said.

Willing contractors could be found to get it done under the third option, Eudora Mayor Tom Pyle said.

"I don't see why they can't get it torn out there and get (the complex) going," Pyle said.

Councilwoman Lori Fritzel served on the committee that brought the complex to the voters.

"The voters I talk to would like to see it on schedule," Fritzel said.

After discussion, the council didn't vote on the amended contract and directed Arpin to study the feasibility of putting the complex on the fast track. The council also directed Eudora City Administrator Cheryl Beatty to look into getting the geology samples done by an outside contractor to start the process rolling.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.