City considers pool options
Costs range from $5.7-$1.4 million
By Bert Lehman
A decision on what to do with Clintonville’s dormant municipal outdoor swimming pool might come in July.
At its June 12 meeting, the Clintonville City Council was given a presentation about different options available regarding the swimming pool.
Ryan Nachreiner, project director for Water Technology Inc., told the council that the goal for the swimming pool project is to revitalize and modernize the outdoor swimming pool facility. This would include rebuilding the bathhouse, renovating the lap pool, and removing the wading pool in favor of a splash pad.
“The idea is to appeal to as many community residents as possible,” Nachreiner said. “To have something for everyone is the ultimate goal.”
The plan that WTI developed for the swimming pool includes a zero-depth entry pool where the lap pool currently is. This would make it more of a “leisure” pool. The splash pad that would replace the wading pool would include several different features that spray water.
In addition to those features, the plan includes an activity area around the leisure pool, a diving and climbing area, a waterslide complex, a number of shade structures, turf areas and concession areas.
“The idea was to see how far we could take the existing pool while still using that same shell,” Nachreiner said. “Waterproofing and repairing that shell to the extent that it’s not a complete rebuild, so you don’t have to go through the cost of demolishing that pool and building an entire new one.”
The splash pad that would replace the wading pool would include water elements that represented local and historical attractions, Nachreiner said.
Nachreiner said the cost estimate for a swimming pool complex plan that included the aforementioned items is $5.7 million dollars. He said the big variable in this estimate is the bathhouse, which is estimated to cost $1.5 million to build.
The $5.7 million estimate could be reduced if items were removed from the project plan, he said.
One alternate plan eliminates the splash pad. This would reduce the project cost to $4.5 million.
The second alternate involved only improving the lap pool, but not renovating and modifying it. This would mean the pool would not have zero-depth entry.
“You’re simply refinishing that pool so it’s waterproof and workable,” Nachreiner said.
The cost estimate for the second alternate would be $3.6 million.
The lowest cost option that WTI presented is for the pool complex to have only a splash pad. This option would not need a bathhouse, and is estimated to cost $1.4 million.
Nachreiner was asked if the swimming pool facility needs a bathhouse.
“Code is first of all going to require you have a certain a number of fixtures,” Nachreiner said. “So you need bathrooms and people do need a place to change.”
Clintonville Mayor Richard Beggs questioned the $1.5 million price tag for a bathhouse.
“I can’t possibly imagine a bathhouse, probably out of concrete block, would cost $1.5 million,” Beggs said.
Commercial construction is different than residential construction, Nachreiner said. The types of fixtures used inside the bathhouse would also play a role in the total cost of its construction.
Nachreiner was asked if a lifeguard would be needed if the facility had only a splash pad.
“We always recommend, even though by law and code you don’t have to have a lifeguard, you at least have an attendant,” Nachreiner said.
Payback on a swimming pool complex was another topic brought up.
“Most municipal aquatic centers do not achieve over 100 percent cost recovery year after year,” Nachreiner said. “Most are subsidized at some level.”
Beggs recommended the council table the issue until the July council meeting. This would give council members time to think about what they want to do regarding the city’s outdoor swimming pool.
“I think it probably goes without saying that whatever we end up doing is going to end up being borrowed money, some of it anyway, most of it,” Beggs said. “We already have borrowing problems.”
He added that he wants the council to make a decision in July about the swimming pool.
“My personal goal for this year is that during this calendar year we will make a decision one way or another,” Beggs said. “Either close it, bulldoze it or pick a plan and let’s create some money to it.”
Alderman Ben Huber asked if the borrowing for a swimming pool project would have to go through a referendum.
Beggs said it doesn’t have to, but it could.
“But I think you know how it’s going to come out if you go [with] a referendum,” Beggs said. “People vote with their pocketbook.”
Council President Mike Hankins said he agreed with tabling the decision until the July council meeting. He said this would also allow each council member to obtain opinions from their constituents.
Alderman Jim Supanich agreed.
“But the financing is going to be difficult,” Supanich said. “We’re going to have to look at that. We’re already in a situation with the auditors where we’re committed to a debt reduction program. And we’re having problems taking care of simple services like fixing roadways, so we’re going to have to look strong and hard at how to do this.”
He added that he also agreed that the city needs an outdoor swimming pool.
“I really would like to see one down there,” he said.
Beggs said not all the options in the pool project plan have to be built at one time. The project could be done in stages.
“I personally would hate to see the pool closed and have a splash pad put in,” Beggs said. “That would be the least desirable thing we could do.”
Alderman Brad Rokus, agreed with delaying a decision until July, but added that the sooner the city makes a decision, the sooner it can start private fundraising.
“As a community with [our] tax revenues we can’t afford any of the options right now,” Rokus said. “But once we have an option out there, then we can start knocking on doors, and beating on drums and see what kind of money we can raise.”
The council approved tabling the swimming pool issue until the July council meeting.
After the vote, Hankins told council members that even if the decision is to not renovate the swimming pool area, the city will have to do something with the current swimming pool site. There is also a cost associated with that decision.