By MADELYN FAIRBANKS
Published June 20, 2012
Aquatic center design finished, school district ready to solicit bids
SNOHOMISH - The Snohomish School District has finalized a new design for an aquatic facility that would not only reduce building and operating costs but increase revenue as well.
Kristin Foley, district spokeswoman, said a groundbreaking ceremony will kick off the start of the pool project Wednesday, June 27. The facility is being built at the Maple Avenue Campus. There is currently an unused classroom on the site of the future aquatic center, and demolition of it to allow for the pool will begin soon.
The 52,900-square-foot facility is estimated to cost $21.3 million to construct from start to finish.
Additions to the design include a surf-simulation machine called a FlowRider and a shallow pool area to be used by toddlers for swimming lessons, a program that will be a “really high revenue-generating opportunity,” said Steve Moore, program manager for the district’s capital projects.
The facility will have three pools, one of them a competitive Olympic-sized pool with 10 lanes. Other features include bleachers for 420 spectators, locker rooms, family changing rooms and a water slide.
After realizing in April 2011 that operational costs would far exceed revenue, the district put the pool’s plans on hold and used a consulting company out of California to re-evaluate the design to cut costs and increase revenue.
Together, the district and Sports Management Group came up with the needed changes, and the district expects to open the brand-new facility in October 2013.
“It’s a unique facility,” Moore said.
Moore seemed excited about the new changes that will not only be fun for future pool-users but are expected to generate more revenue as well.
Moore said the district will begin advertising the project to bidders in early July and hope to award the contract “on or around July 31st.”
The city of Snohomish will help pay the facility’s water and sewer bill and signed a 30-year contract with the district earlier this year. The agreement is estimated to cost the city $3 million over the life of the contract.
City residents will get a 20 percent discount on monthly or yearly passes.
The city offered to pay the pool’s utility bill after the district began exploring options to save money when an analysis showed the facility wouldn’t take in as much as needed to operate the facility. One option the district briefly considered was building the pool in the county, which has lower utility costs.
The city responded with a promise to pay the utility bill if the pool were to stay in Snohomish because it is expected to be an economic driver for the city as well as a much needed recreational resource.
The pool project is part of a $261 million bond passed by voters in 2008.