Archive for Thursday, March 16, 2006

Center of attention

Council embraces drawings of Eudora Aquatic and Recreation Facility

March 16, 2006

It appears the preliminary renderings of the Eudora Aquatic and Recreation Facility have made a splash with the Eudora City Council.

Project Manager Tom Arpin of BG Consultants presented the council Monday night with a variety of visual angles and a wealth of information regarding the space constraints, financial limitations and vision of the $3.5 to $3.7 million project.

The end product will be unveiled in May in conjunction with the kickoff of a campaign to build support for the project before a planned August referendum.

"We've also had a number of citizens who have attended our meetings and provided valuable input," Arpin said. "I don't think their work is done yet, so we're going to rely on them in the future."

The facility will be located near Laws Field, where the swimming pool is now.

"One of the things the committee looked in different concepts was how to configure a building and a swimming pool on this site," Arpin said.

The committee decided to use the building as a windbreak, "rather than have a swimming pool totally exposed to the wind and the dirt and other things coming for it."

The committee also looked to protect the outlying site area, Arpin said.

"If we could, we wanted to leave the

set of tennis courts in place," Arpin said.

Next to the pool would be a 25,00-square-foot recreation area, complete with gym and meeting areas.

"It seemed to be important with the design committee to make sure that this place is more than a destination for people," Arpin said. "If your out walking you can go into the community center and maybe in the lobby area you can socialize and maybe use this area to play cards and visit or watch television.

"We made it larger than normal to create an area where people can gather."

The preliminary design allowed for the future expansion of the gym.

"So that in the future that end wall can be dismantle and a new addition can be added here and it will end up being one large room," Arpin said.

As for the pool, Arpin explained the value of the zero-depth entry point, which in the concept drawings contained water enhancements. The zero-depth entry could take pressure off the main pool, he said.

Arpin also explained several add-ons including a 125-foot slide and a "lazy river," which would both operate outside the main pool area.

If the council decided to include those pieces in the final proposal in may the price of the complex would jump to $3.7 million.

According to the preliminary plans, the building would have overhanging roofs to protect the structure from the nearby baseball fields and be constructed of aluminum siding, Arpin said

"It helps armor the building," Arpin said.

The city would put a bond issue out the voters for a 3-mill property tax hike and half-cent sales cent raise.

City Administrator Cheryl Beatty said the committee was working with Piper Jafray to find the best bonding options for the city.

After the initial presentation, Arpin answered questions from the public and council.

Council member Kevin Miller asked if the committee thought about an inside pool.

Both Beatty and Arpin were of the consensus that the indoor pool wouldn't be financially feasible.

Following the presentation, the council seemed to be supportive of the pool committee's work.

Eudora Mayor Tom Pyle said it was a good concept.

Council members Scott Hopson and Lori Fritzel also said they thought it was a good idea.

"I think of all the concepts we've seen, this by far the best," Hopson said.

The addition of the gymnasium and meeting area especially made the concept strong, Hopson said.

The plans also lead to strong expansion possibilities, Hopson said.

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