Pool wish list over budget

In December, the South Lane School District had a list of things it wanted to address at the community pool with some of the $35 million in bond money it had been granted by voters. After compiling the list, the price tag for the updates came in at just over $8 million. That same list in September of this year is estimated to cost over $9 million. The district has budgeted $5.1 million. 

"What we want will cost $10 million," Superintendent Krista Parent told the school board during its November 6 meeting. "We don't have $10 million. We have $5.1 million so we're going to have to prioritize." 

The district has formed a design committee with members of the community. The committee met for the first time earlier this month and as of press time was scheduled to meeting again on November 7. 

Mike Goreman of BLRB Architects--the firm tasked with handling the pool's construction--addressed the school board Monday night. 

He said the company had arrived at list of projects to bring the district closer to budget that included upgrading the electrical system in the building as well as all of the mechanical equipment, new piping for the pool, a new pool deck and a fresh coat of paint. The plan would also include a new, eight-lane pool, a decision that was the center of debate for the design committee. 

According to Parent, the committee is made up of both competitive and recreational swimmers. The current pool's measurements disqualify it from being used for competition meets and the suggestion of adding a bulkhead to bring the pool to regulation size has been floated for years. 

However, the addition of a bulkhead would limit the pool to six lanes while the difference in cost between the addition and a completely new pool is $150,000. 

"There was a lot of talk about the competitive versus the recreational," Parent said. The committee reportedly discussed requesting the shallow end of the new pool be three and a half feet rather than the standard four feet to allow for more use by little swimmers. There was also talk of a diving board and another water feature. 

"Something to make it a fun pool, too," Parent said. 

The new plan presented by Goreman would cost the district $5.7 million; $600,000 over the current budget. 

"It's new plumbing in the locker rooms, new fixtures, new lights, a new epoxy floor," he said. "The challenge in expanding it is it's not up to code so we'd just upgrade. That's about it, freshen it up," Goreman said of the locker room. 

The pool was not on the agenda as an action item and the board did not vote on the information it was given. 

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