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Covington staff continues to refine pool plans
The city of Covington is bringing in a second architect to refine renovation plans for Covington Aquatic Center.
After bids to repair the roof of the pool building came in much higher than anticipated the City Council opted to reject them and go out for a new round of bids.
The city received a $400,000 grant from the state for renovations during the 2012 legislative session. Covington Parks and Recreation Director Scott Thomas said that at the time city staff hadn’t expected the grant to be funded. The main projects on the city’s wish list include fixing the roof, adding on a new rental room that can be used for parties and other events, and improving the patio in front of the building.
The list of projects was refined late in 2012 and in 2013 the project went out to bid. Thomas said the bids went out late in the construction season, and in total came back about $100,000 over the $400,000 budget.
The city wants to resurface, not replace the roof on the building, putting a new layer over the existing layer, Thomas explained.
“This is going to be a cost effective roof,” Thomas said. “We want to take good care of this facility we have.”
That new layer is expected to last 15 years according to Thomas.
Thomas added that the city’s estimates were low for the cost of the roof.
“Our expectations were lower then what the market says,” Thomas said.
Another factor contributing to the higher than expected bids, Thomas said, is the continual improvement of the economy.
The focus going forward will be to make the project fit within the budget and the roof repair remains the top project priority. Another project high on the list is building the rental room.
“We really want to make that work,” Thomas said.
For a number of years the pool has used a former storage room as a party rental room, but, Thomas said, the room is small and was never meant to be used as a public space.
Some of the projects that could go by the wayside for now could include resurfacing the plaza, picnic tables for the plaza, upgraded lighting on the plaza, and using a different kind of siding on the building then had originally been planned.
“By tweaking the design we can have a cost effective budget,” Thomas said.
One option that the City Council could consider would be to seek additional grant funds to add to the project budget.
The city has operated the pool since 2005. Another major renovation project that the city completed previously included upgrading the heating and air conditioning system in 2008. More recently, the facility was closed for two weeks at the beginning of March to drain and resurface the pool as well as some smaller projects like replacing burnt out lightbulbs over the pool and in the underwater lights, as well as new ADA access chairs.