A new aquatic center in Greenwood with a lazy river and slides is expected to cost less than the city planned to spend.
The city park board approved hiring five contractors to build the facility for a total cost of $7.2 million. Construction could begin as soon as June 1, and the new facility in Freedom Park is planned to open in May 2015.
The city redevelopment commission is expected to approve the bids from the five companies to build the lap pool and lazy river, pour asphalt for the parking lots, extend electrical, sewer and water utility services to the property and also install heating and air conditioning, community development services director Mark Richards said in an email.
The city planned to spend up to $10 million on the project, which is being paid for with a loan from the city’s tax-increment financing, or TIF, districts. But the bids don’t include money spent on designs, managing the project and studying how much it will make. The total also doesn’t take into account any additional expenses, such as for supplies for the concession stand and chairs.
The $7.2 million doesn’t include nearly $500,000 spent to design the project, $280,150 for Skillman Corp. to oversee the project and up to $10,500 for a study by pool engineering firm Counsilman-Hunsaker to project the pool park’s expenses and revenue.
The city will be hiring the low bidders for the project, parks director Rob Taggart said. Next the redevelopment commission would need to approve hiring the companies, which include R.L. Turner of Zionsville, which bid about $6 million to build the pools and extend utilities, such as water and electricity, to the aquatic center. Globe Asphalt Paving of Indianapolis will be doing all asphalt paving work for $255,465. F.A. Wilhelm of Indianapolis will handle masonry work for $229,700. Sexson Mechanical Corp. of Greenwood will do the plumbing and heating and air conditioning work for $345,000. And ERMCO Inc. of Indianapolis will do electrical work for $371,900.
Once the contractors are hired, construction can start around June 1, Richards said. The city had planned to open the aquatic center this year but had to take more time to work on a design that offered amenities, such as a lazy river, that also fit the $10 million budget.
The redevelopment commission’s approval would solidify Freedom Park off Averitt Road as the location for the new pool, despite a recent suggestion from city council member Thom Hord to consider building the project near the County Line Road exit at Interstate 65. The city opted to build the aquatic center after tearing down the city’s 55-year-old pool in 2012 due to safety concerns, such as crumbling concrete in the bathhouses.
The up to $10 million project includes a lap pool, 600-foot lazy river and water slides. The lazy river will have a bridge and a 60-foot bypass with a waterfall that people on inner tubes can choose to float under instead of simply going around the river’s loop. Those features were removed from the plans earlier this year because of high construction cost estimates but added back in when the bids came back lower than expected.
The city was pleased with the bids since they were below budget, city attorney Krista Taggart said. Some costs not covered in the construction bids include concession stand supplies, chairs and about $600,000 in startup expenses, which include water and hiring and training employees.
The city is working to find ways to pay for annual operating expenses, including the costs of lifeguard salaries, water and chemicals, because a pool engineering firm estimated revenue from the pool park wouldn’t cover $200,000 of its expenses each year.
Finding sponsors for parts of the aquatic center, such as the slides, are among the ways the city is considering for how to fund the operational costs, Mayor Mark Myers has said.