Deadline for bids to build a new aquatic center in Lake City is 2 p.m. April 17. The center will be built at the site of the current 60-plus-year-old pool in Goins Park. The current pool will be open through July for swim-team season and lifeguard swim lessons. The above drawing shows the layout for new center looking from north to south.
Deadline for bids to build a new aquatic center in Lake City is 2 p.m. April 17. The center will be built at the site of the current 60-plus-year-old pool in Goins Park. The current pool will be open through July for swim-team season and lifeguard swim lessons. The above drawing shows the layout for new center looking from north to south.
March 31, 2014



Lake City

Lake City soon will be diving in construction of a new aquatic center that will open for the 2015 season.

The City Council has approved engineers' plans and cost estimates. Construction bids will be accepted until 2 p.m. Thursday, April 17. A meeting for prospective bidders to ask engineers questions about the project will begin at 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 8, at city hall.

Plans call for beginning construction July 31 or Aug. 1, after completion of the 2014 swim season - the last for the current pool built more than 60 years ago, in the 1950s. The aquatic center is to be ready for a full season in 2015.

Progress toward construction is bringing to fruition an effort that began in earnest nearly 10 years ago.

Fundraising now totals nearly $1.2 million, and the city is issuing $1.2 million in bonds on the project, and Mayor Gary Fahan says bids are expected to come in at just under $2.4 million.

FEH Associates Inc. Engineering, an architectural and construction engineering firm in Des Moines, and U.S. Aquatics Inc. of Delano, Minn., have designed the new facility.

Rick Snyder, a 1979 Lake City High School graduate, has been with FEH 25 years and is vice president.

"I think it will be a great asset to the city and a good draw in conjunction with their being a strong city with the hospital and school district and trying to draw people," Snyder said in a recent phone interview.

"The existing pool is 60-plus years old, deteriorating rapidly and has had lots of repairs. They've definitely needed to do something," added Snyder, a son of Helen Snyder of Lake City and the late Lenny Snyder, who was an agent for State Farm Insurance in Lake City.

Rick recalled that he rode his bike four or five times a week from the family's home on the east side of town to the current pool in Goins Park, on the west side of town. The aquatic center will be built on the same site as the current pool.

Snyder notes some of the main features of the new pool:

- Splash pool with zero-depth entry and a variety of play feature such as rain drop arch and geyser. "Kids can interact in using the pool," Snyder said.

Snyder said the zero-depth-entry feature is family friendly. "You will see a lot more grandparents taking their grandkids there," he said. "It's like a large wading pool. They can participate easier than a lap pool."

- Connected to the splash pool will be a plunge pool that can be used for water slides or even aerobic exercise programs.

- Separate from the splash and plunge pools will be a regulation size pool that will be 25 meters and six lanes wide for swim-team meets and lap swimming. It also will have a 10-foot diving well with two 1-meter diving boards and a climbing wall.

Snyder said climbing walls are a popular new feature at aquatic centers and may help make the Lake City facility an even stronger attraction for visitors.

- A bathhouse, concession stand and lifeguard station.

- A pool deck with shade umbrellas.

The pools will be north of the bathhouse/concession facility. The lap pool will be west of the splash and plunge pools.

Snyder said FEH's main work is on the bathhouse/concessions facility, while U.S. Aquatics has designed the pool itself.

"We team up with them. We do the buildings, and they do the pool," Snyder said.

Past projects have included pools in the Sioux City area and Coralville.

Snyder said the design has taken shape based on the community's input and funding success.

"We've revisited the design and made modifications to match the budget. We've done this in conjunction with U.S. Aquatics," Snyder said. "All they do is outdoor and indoor pools, so they have a vast array of ways of approaching this to make it fit this community."

The new facility will be built with a number of energy-efficient and environmentally friendly features, Snyder said.

For instance, he said of the regenerative media filtration system, "It's more energy-efficient and water-efficient than sand filters. It takes less water to clean the filters and it's also a smaller system, so you don't have to build as large a pool-equipment room."

The pool will be built using shotcrete or gunite pneumatic application of concrete, which should provide a stronger, more-monolithic shell than standard, cast-in-place concrete structure, Snyder said.

Once the contract has been awarded for the project, Snyder said, his firm will assist the city in managing the construction process, visiting the job to review the progress.

"We're finally getting off the ground. It's definitely time," Fahan said of the project. "We're excited about it."

The current pool will open for 2014 about June 1, Fahan said, and will remain open through swim-team season plus a couple of weeks of lifeguard swimming lessons.

The city employs about 12 to 14 people at the pool, including a manager, assistant manager and lifeguards.

Besides FEH and U.S. Aquatics, companies in the project are Allman and Associates of Rochester, Minn., mechanical and electrical engineering; Raker Rhodes, of Des Moines, civil engineering; Signature Aquatics, a branch of Signature Aquatics Pool Design of Delano, Minn., project manager.

Bonds for the project will be paid back over a 15-year period and do not raise taxes, Fahan said. The bonds will be paid off with local-option sales-tax funds the first six years and then with revenue generated.

Fahan said the fundraising continues, noting hopes to add a slide costing $200,000 that isn't feasible in the initial construction.