Archive for Thursday, August 24, 2006

May pool opening possible

August 24, 2006

By tweaking planning time and pushing ahead with demolition, it appears Eudora's $3.8 million pool and recreation facility might be ready for the 2007 swimming season after all.

During a special meeting Thursday, the Eudora City Council approved an amended design contract that aims to have the pool open by the end of May and the recreation center fully operational by the beginning of September 2007.

"We're working vigorously to make that happen," Eudora City Administrator Cheryl Beatty said. "It all depends on the weather."

Project manager Tom Arpin of BG Consultants presented the amended contract to the council three days after he was instructed to look at ways of putting the construction on a fast track.

"The main thing is that we've knocked the design time down to two months," Arpin said.

The city also shaved months off the construction schedule by approving funds to go ahead with a geological survey and demolition.

In addition to the demolition, the project has benefited from all the preliminary design work done before the pool bond went before voters.

"Basically that saved us a couple of months," Arpin said.

According to the design contract, demolition of the current pool is scheduled to start Sept. 1.

Arpin will have a final design of the pool to the council by Oct. 20 and will start bid letting by Nov. 10.

"I've had a number of contractors inquire already about the availability of plans and what the schedule is," Arpin said. "I think the bidding market is OK."

Construction would begin Nov. 28 and opening day festivities are scheduled for May 26, 2007.

Although he's seen pools built in a span of seven to eight months, this project has an additional point of uncertainty, Arpin said.

The project could find problems from the fact construction would be starting in the middle of winter as opposed to November or October, Arpin said.

"We're getting the demolition done, but we won't have any concrete work done until the first of the year," Arpin said. "We're kind of at the mercy of the weather."

Even if the weather gets bad, the construction schedule leaves some leeway, Arpin said.

"You usually have a few weeks you can play with one way or the other," Arpin said.

If the contractor has a prior commitment, projects could sometimes be delayed for reasons other than weather, Arpin said.

Earlier construction plans for the center had pushed the date back to August 2007 and later.

Although the council might have salvaged its swim season, it's unclear how the brisker pace will affect the rec center's overall budget.

"Condensing the schedule isn't something that's obviously going to make it less expensive," Arpin said.

The city won't know how speeding up the schedule will affect the project's overall budget until the bidding stage.

"It's going to be real competitive, I don't think it will be affecting the budget too bad," Arpin said.

Although any change to the project's budget is unclear, the new construction timeline has one clear-cute advantage.

Arpin said the goal is to get the pool open for next summer so the city is not without a swimming pool.

"(We want) to make sure the city doesn't have to go without a pool for as minimal a time as possible."

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