Archive for Thursday, June 24, 2004

New pool to open in 2006

June 24, 2004

The city of De Soto's new swimming pool won't open for another 23 months.

Ending speculation the new pool could be rushed to completion for next summer, Greg Johnson told the City Council last Thursday that the Council's pool committee came to a consensus earlier this month that the new pool should have a May 2006 opening date.

Several concerns played into the decision, Johnson said, but the overriding one was the desire not to rush the design and construction of a facility paid for by a 20-year bond. It had also been acknowledged that everything needed to go right to realize a spring 2005 opening, which would necessitate a winter construction schedule.

Councilwoman Mitra Templin said the costs associated with an accelerated construction schedule also contributed to decision.

"We were concerned we would end up paying more for the same pool," she said.

City voters approved a $2.65 million bond issue in April that will finance a new swimming pool behind the Community Center.

At last Thursday's meeting, the Council approved a contract with Larkin Aquatics of Kansas City, Mo., to design the new pool. The contract was for 7 percent of the pool's construction cost, estimated to be about $2 million.

The pool committee of Johnson, City Engineer Mike Brungardt, Councilwoman Mitra Templin, De Soto Parks and Recreation member Barry Thierer and residents Kay Speed and Leon Coker interviewed nine firms last month before inviting four back for a second round of interviews June 1.

Committee members agreed Aquatic Design of Louisburg and Larkin Aquatics stood out in the interviews.

Johnson and Templin said Larkin got the nod because of its understanding how the to enhance the facility through the pool's individual features and how the pool fit with the Community Center site.

For example, they said the firm's consultants spoke of how to lay out the pool to give it the most visibility from Lexington Avenue and placement of a slide so that those climbing to its top would get the best view of the surrounding area.

Treadwell Jones of Larkin Aquatics said the firm should have a preliminary design to share with the public in a month to 90 days.

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