While city crews were working Monday to get the Ottawa City Pool in shape for the coming summer, the City Commission was talking about the facilit’s future.
Commissioners met with representatives from BG Consultants during Monday’s study session to hear options to repair or replace the aging swimming pool. Sam Johnson and Tom Arpin from BG Consultants gave the city three options that ranged from a minimum repair with a price tag of over $700,000 to building a new $7 million dollar facility.
Johnson said his company completed a feasibility study on the pool and there are many issues that need to be addressed. At a minimum, he said, repairs would include replacing 80-90 feet of gutter that has settled down, sand and brush blasting of the existing pool, painting the pool with epoxy paint, replacing corroded doors and replacing the chlorine feed system and equipment repairs and upgrades.
Johnson told the commission that the minimum option would come with a price tag of $723,000, with a need for 12 lifeguards and a yearly operating budget of $104,000.
“You are still dealing with a 50-year old structure and that settlement that has happened in the basin well, this isn’t solving it,” he said. “It’s a temporary fix. This option would be considered as an extensive operation and maintenance effort painting the pool. This would not be considered a new facility.”
Johnson said the repairs would give the city a two-to-five year window before more extensive work would be required or a new facility was built.
The original pool was replaced in 1966. Pool equipment and mechanical parts were replaced in 2004 and in 2006, the bath house was improved as well as improvements to the zero entry area.
Johnson then gave two options that would both be considered new pools. Option one was an improvement to the existing pool that would last from five to 15 years. It included replacing all the guttering system, sand blasting and repair, removing and replacing the concrete deck, improved lighting and construction of a new figure-eight slide, lazy river and a splash pod.
Johnson said the improvement would require 22 lifeguards which would increase the annual operation costs because it would not be the most efficient design.
Option two was a total reconstruction of the pool which would have a life of 40 to 50 years. Johnson said this was similar to what was done in 1966. The more efficient design would require 18 lifeguards and include many of the same amenities as described in option one. The advantage of a new structure, he said, was that the new pool would not have to be in the same place as the existing one, which would keep a pool operating while the construction of the new pool occurred. He said the total time from planning to opening the new pool would be two-and-a-half years to three years.
“If your looking at pursuing option one or two, I don’t think you would want to put a whole lot into it if your going to step into one of those options,” Arpin said. “You could try to limp through another year but if you’re going to wait two or three years, you probably want to go ahead with repairs because of the safety issues.”
Ottawa mayor Blake Jorgensen asked if there were immediate safety issues that needed to be addressed before opening this year. Johnson said he felt the pool could be open this year but the issues needed to be addressed soon.
“There are no immediate safety issues besides that concrete falling and normal patchwork that gets more labor intensive every year,” he said. “That’s going to be more of an effort this year than it was last year and that’s going to still be present the next year, but you don’t want to go too many more of those years doing the same thing you did last year.”
No decision was made on the issue during the study session. The commission said more discussion needed to take place before moving forward.
“I don’t think we want to jump into something right away anyway because the play task force,” commissioner Eric Crowley said. “I know they have a busy schedule this year at the pool and we don’t want to effect what they have planned.”