PIEDMONT — After a lengthy discussion Monday, the City Council voted unanimously to approve proposed changes to the community pool’s design.
“We’ve had 15 City Council meetings and eight pool advisory committee meetings (to advance plans for the pool),” City Administrator Sara Lillevand said.
Clarence Mamuyac of ELS Architecture and Urban Design and consultant Stuart Isaac of Isaac Sports Group attended the meeting via teleconference to answer questions from the panel and describe changes. The design reflected in the package was the result of proposed modifications approved by the council at its March 21 and April 4 meetings, Lillevand noted in her staff report.
Changes were outlined to maximize usage, serve all user groups and in some cases, save money, she said. Most importantly, the city and council are committed to run the aquatic center on a net-zero carbon footprint using photovoltaic and other alternative energy sources to run the facility.
City staff will focus on grant monies, electrification incentives, fundraising and possible state budget allocations to electrify the pool facility. Lillevand outlined the changes, which are estimated to cost $250,000:
“More program space is being created — for special needs classes, adaptive PE, increased capacity for lessons” Isaac said, adding that Piedmont’s design goals will make for an appealing, functional pool complex. “People are demanding more from pools these days. Some include climbing walls or playgrounds or zip lines.”
The poolside room indoor space at deck level could be used for classes, camps, parties and lifeguard and staff training but will be constructed only if bids received fall within the proposed budget. The competition pool will remain as it had been designed, at 27 meters by 25 yards with notches for floating water polo goals and a depth of 6.5 to 12 feet.
Construction cost estimates currently show $10,330,000 for the building; $6,350,000 for the swimming pools and decks; $3,725,000 for site improvements; an all-electric differential of $500,000; and $275,000 for lap lanes at 25 yards and an extra 300 feet of “zero-beach” entry for a total of $21,180,000. The construction budget was $19 million, resulting in a total funding gap of $2,180,000.
Piedmont voters approved Measure UU in November 2020 with $19.5 million in bonds to finance the project. The availability of materials, inflation at 11.42% and changes to the project have affected the pool project. These issues will be addressed in several ways. Officials with the Piedmont Recreational Facilities Organization say the group is willing to support a fundraising effort in addition to other possible funding sources.
“Maintaining the aquatic facility is the most important, with electric heating of the pools,” Lillevand said.
A valued community resource, the pool complex has been closed for more than two years due to the pandemic. For years, it offered competition swimming, water polo, lap and recreational swimming, swimming lessons, water exercise and more. Piedmont residents have had to seek other swim outlets since the pool closed, Mayor Teddy Gray King noted. She said she and the other council members will welcome the day Piedmont can have its own pool again.
The community pool advisory committee is on board with the changes, and the project will go before the Piedmont Planning Commission in the near future. A target date for completion is unsure at this time due to unforeseeable factors.
Linda Davis is a longtime Piedmont correspondent. Contact her with news tips or comments at [email protected]