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Work to start soon at Covington pool
Construction should begin later this year at the Covington Aquatic Center. The building needs a new roof among other upgrades.
Scott Thomas, Covington’s parks and recreation director, said the project went to bid Aug. 16 and the bids for a contractor will be opened Sept. 12. Work should begin in October.
“There’s two main pieces to the project,” Thomas said. “The big driving instigator for the project is that the roof is at the end of its useful life so we’re going to be re-roofing it. It’s also already got layers on it so we have to deal with how many layers are on the roof so we have to see if we can add another layer or if we need to take it off.”
Work began on the design of the project in October 2012 when the city hired Fred French as a project-construction manager on a part-time, as-needed basis, according to information provided in March by Ethan Newton, the city’s aquatics supervisor. Covington then hired Taproot Architects to work on the design and development of concept drawings.
Because of the budget involved as well as grant requirements, the scope of the project was narrowed to include an art installation, improvements to the roof, outside plaza area and exterior paint along with an addition to the building which can be a room available for rent to the community or as a classroom. This is being covered by a $400,000 Washington State Commerce Grant.
“The other big part of that project is we’re trying to increase recreational offerings in Covington,” Thomas said. “We had been using a converted storage space as a rental room for birthday parties. It’s not a great space for that use and we need the space for storage so we’re building a rental room, it’s an addition.”
With the project set to start this fall, the plan is to build an addition off the lobby which extends into the plaza to provide a larger rental space, about 480 square feet. That is double the size of the current space. Initially the plan was to remodel the existing rental room, but given its original purpose it was limited in how it could be improved. With the addition, the rental room can be converted back to storage space.
Thomas explained the construction will not disrupt operation of the pool.
“Since it’s an addition to the building it has very little impact on the operations on the inside and everything is being oriented around not disrupting the uses that we have now,” he said.
With the addition, Thomas added, the aquatic center will provide another value added service to patrons.
“It is going to be fabulous to be able to have birthday parties or other kind of functions,” Thomas said. “This new room is going to be associated with the plaza … so the aquatic center is really going to be able to provide a lot more service to the community than we have in the past. It’s really going to be great. It’s going to make the aquatic center a lot more versatile.”