SCS Board approves SMS pool construction documents

By: 
Kate Wehlann, Staff Writer

Architect John Hawkins presented his schematic designs for the Salem Middle School pool renovation. After the initial budget was approved, his firm did further studies and realized the old aluminum pool could not be repaired, but would have to be replaced with a new concrete pool.

“This is the ‘speak now or forever hold your peace’ on the design,” he said. “… Architects are pretty easy to work with when it comes to changes but engineers, they don’t take it so easy.”

The final review, the bid drawing, will be voted on in the Monday, Oct. 1, meeting. Hawkins’ schematic design includes a plan for the pool, the plan for the boilers, which will stay on the roof, section drawings showing how the pool fits, a preliminary list of equipment and a plan for heating, cooling and dehumidification units and lighting.

Making decisions soon is more important financially than some might think.

“This schedule is the kind of thing where a week or two makes a big difference,” said Hawkins. “If you can sell the bond early enough, all the interest payments go into the next year, which saves money. What we’re trying to do is beat the end of the year with the bond sale.”

The board would approve the plans and bid specifications on Oct. 1, the project would go out for bids and those would be due Nov. 7, and the board would award the bid on Nov. 12 bid meeting and the bonds could be sold starting Nov. 29 and bonds could be sold for 30 days, just beating the end of the year.

The new pool would see a gold stripe replacing the maroon one and feature a concrete deck covered in a rubberized sport surface. Hawkins said contractors would have to cut a hole in the wall for access, but instead of filling that in with brick, they could fill it in with a translucent material that would let some natural light in. He’s listed a tile finish as an alternate item, meaning it’s not included in the base bid, along with the replacement of some doors and an alternate storage system in the storage room. 

“It’s a very tall space, but there’s no way to store anything other than laying it on the floor,” said Hawkins.

The base bid would reuse the current timing system, but with an alternate bid, there’s a possibility for a new timing system with TV screens in the viewer area that would allow the audience to see what was going on in the pool. Currently, because the viewing area is air conditioned and the pool is not, there’s a fogging issue with the windows into the pool, making it difficult for spectators to see. 

The cost for all the alternate bid items comes to $160,000.

Hawkins said, at the 10-28 hearing, the budget was set at $2.41 million for the project and the current plan is “just a hair over that.” The pool itself, including the pump, drive and filters, gutter and main drain piping, new dive blocs and surfaced deck, is projected to cost $1.2 million, with repairs to the facility costing around $740,000. The changes to the boiler room will cost around $40,000. Hawkins’ bid contingency is $100,000. Add to that the general conditions and contractor costs and the total comes to $2.472 million.

“I’ve got some contingencies built in a couple places,” he said. “I feel like the items I’ve listed as alternate bid items, to be safe, so we have a base bid we can award, I think we need to not include those in the base bid. I’m hoping the bids will be lower than what I’m guessing.”

He said there are contingencies in the bond as well. Just as Hawkins put contingencies in his plan, those preparing the bonds place contingencies in their plan based on the interest rate.

“Once they sell the bonds, we’ll have a better idea of how much fat they have in their budget, also,” said Hawkins. “That might help award some of those alternate bid items.”

The new pool will be 9 feet, 3 inches deep at the deep end, just meeting Red Cross training requirements, and three feet, six inches at the shallow end. The old pool reached 10 feet deep.

Hawkins said he looked very hard at moving the boilers, but decided to keep the boilers on the roof. The boilers will be replaced with new models and the rusted fittings will be replaced, but he said the current enclosures are still in great shape.

Board member Steve Motsinger made a motion to accept the plans, seconded by member Dr. Tricia Wheeler and the plans were unanimously approved.

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