Archive for Thursday, April 6, 2006

Pool nears completion

April 6, 2006

On a day warm enough to think about a swim, Vanum Construction foreman Dave Rumans looked on with satisfaction Tuesday as two of his men cleaned concrete on the new De Soto swimming pool.

"It's beginning to look like a pool, eh?" he asked.

The pool is indeed very close to the just-add-water stage. The last concrete pours to the deck were performed last week and with that the focus will now switch to upgrading of the parking lot behind the Community Center.

A crew would be in next week to paint the pool, Rumans said. Another crew would be back to finish the large slide easily visible from Lexington Avenue, he said.

De Soto City Administrator Pat Guilfoyle said the pool would be finished by Vanum's May 1 contracted substantial completion date.

As Rumans watches his work at the pool wind down, the work of De Soto Parks and Recreation director Jay Garvin and his assistant Justin Huslig, hired last month to manage the pool, is kicking into high gear.

With the return of warm weather and the pool's increasing visibility, the city had already processed some individual and family passes, Garvin said.

"There's been some interest," he said. "More so than in past years. Once this hits, it's going to get crazy."

"This" is the 2,100 fliers the city will mail this week and the 2,700 others that will be sent home with students of all De Soto schools and Mize Elementary in Shawnee, Garvin said. The fliers remind De Soto residents and those in west Shawnee and Lenexa that the pool's grand opening is May 27 and provides a list of season and gate fees. They also inform potential customers of discounts of $5 for senior season passes and $10 for family passes if purchased before May 1.

There are two more mailings planned before the pool's opening that will include additional information, Garvin said.

Customers can make credit card payments by phone if they call the city office at 583-1182, Garvin said.

Huslig, who managed an indoor/outdoor complex in Ulysses, said he was in the process of hiring lifeguard and concession staff. He estimated he would have to hire about 20 lifeguards.

The training process is a bit more complicated this year because lifeguards would have to get their certification elsewhere.

"Right now, it's crazy getting staff and policies and procedures lined out," Huslig said. "If you have a pool, it's a matter of tweaking what you want, not sitting down putting down what you want on paper."

Still, the May 1 substantial completion should give Huslig time to work out the kinks in the pool's daily operation, Garvin said.

The pool will open for Memorial Day Weekend without its planned tot and family slides. As the city and the contractor worked last year to bring the pool's construction within budget, it was agreed the two slides would be added if money was available.

As it turned out, construction went smoothly enough to include the slides. It was then learned, however, the cost of the slides had doubled to near $90,000.

With that, city engineer Mike Brungardt found another manufacturer that could provide the slides for the $45,000 to $50,000 the city had budgeted. The problem is the manufacturer couldn't deliver the slides in time for the pool's opening. The company has promised they will be available for installation the week after the pool opens, Brungardt said.

Work was nearing completion on the new parking lot west of the Community Center, Brungardt said. The parking lot is to be paved with asphalt with funds from the city's 2006 Community Development Block Grant, which will also provide funds for a shelter near the pool. That money is usually not available until late summer or fall, the city engineer said.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.