Pool improvements

A map of the Shelbyville Family Aquatic Center reveals purposed additions of a lazy river and a splash pad at a cost of $3.5 million.

The Shelbyville City Council heard Tuesday night about recommendations for upgrades to the Shelbyville Family Aquatic Center.

Noel Bolinger of the Shelbyville Family Aquatic Center Pool Improvement Committee gave a report to the council. He explained the pool committee’s recommendation of adding a splash pad for little children and a lazy river, that comes with an additional water slide.

The price tag on the original pool back in 2002 was $2.4 million and was finished at around $3 million. The new upgrades would cost about $3.5 million. It would increase the capacity at the pool from 540 to 1,000 people.

According to the graphic provided by Bolinger, the lazy river would be added to the southeast corner of the pool next to the existing water slide. The children’s splash pad would be just northeast of that between the lazy river and the existing sand play area.

That would place the new items between the pool and the parking lot and the park lagoon.

Bolinger said that the additional people drawn to the pool might require building an additional bathroom.

“The price does not include the bathroom, but I think we can get an exemption approved.” that the city could probably get a waiver.

The lazy river would include a tower so patrons could carry their inner tube up to a new water slide, then slide down to the lazy river. Patrons could also choose to get in the lazy river from the ground.

The plan calls for an option of tearing down the existing tower for the water slide and build a double tower for both slides or just build one new one for the lazy river, which would actually be cheaper.

“It would save $100,000 by not replacing the current slide,” Bolinger said. “The preliminary inspection of the existing slide is good.”

Bolinger said that the price tag was more than expected.

“I guess what the committee wants is thoughts from the council,” Bolinger said. “Bonds were issued the last time. The last time it was $2.4 million. This is another million more than that. If we need a different plan we could do that.”

If the idea is to bring in more people, I don’t think the splash pad is a draw,” said Commissioner Martha Firnhaber.

Bolinnger suggested the admission price, which is now $5 per person could be raised to $6.

Mayor Jeff Johnson asked about the possibility of grants and donations for the upgrades. Bolinger said that could be the case once the project gets going.

Firnhaber asked if there would be a need for more employees due to the additional items. Bolinger answered that there would need to be an attendant for the top of the slide and an attendant at the bottom of the slide and an additional lifeguard to patrol the lazy river. The splash pad does not require supervision, like the existing sand play area.

Commissioner Mark Shanks said that raising the admission price could pay for the additional employees.

“This is a good plan and I’d like us to seriously look at this,” Shanks said. “It would be a draw. If we can pay for it.”

Bolinger said the company could begin work when the pool closes in the fall and have the additions for the following summer.

Commissioner Firnhaber asked about additional parking.

“There would be more parking on the street, plus there is the parking lot across the street for the ball diamonds,” Bolinger said. “The existing parking on the street is parallel, but it could be changed to diagonal.”

Shanks suggested exploring the bond capability.

“The numbers give us something to work with it and gave us ideas,” Shanks said.

In a related item, the council approved a bid to have the pool painted for $20,540 by Dreyer Painting out of Stockton. They specialize in pool painting. The poll is painted every 5 years and it is due.

Shanks said the bid looked good. Firnhaber asked if there was a warranty on the work. Shanks was not sure that existed. Commissioner Thom Schafer asked when it would be done. Shanks said this fall.

The council also approved a bid for work on Sylvester Drive related to expansion at IHI Turbo.

“We had a bid opening on August 23,” said City Engineer Alan Spesard. “We had 4 bids and the low bid $483,187. Our estimate was that it would be over $700,000. We recommend this bid and would like to start this month.”

The bill is to be paid out of a 50% grant and the rest from the city’s West Business District Fund.

The council approved two locations for the Downtown Lending Library, at 108 W. Main and the Corner of Rt 16 & South Washington.

Bolinger said the next pool committee meeting will be at City Hall on September 24 at 3 p.m. and invited members of the council to attend.

John Curtis can be reached at john.curtis@shelbyvilledailyunion.com

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