As plans move forward to construct some kind of spray park facility near where the current community swimming pool sits, plans also are being made to demolish the pool after the current season ends.
The last day the community swimming pool in Evergreen Park is scheduled to be open is Saturday, Aug. 11.
The 50-year-old pool has provided city employees with maintenance headaches for years, including at times losing as much as a foot of water in a day. Officials have said that old age has cracked and damaged the facility beyond affordable repair, and several brainstorming sessions this year have centered on constructing some kind of spray park at the location as a replacement.
“We’ve gotten a lot of information from a lot of vendors that seem to fit into a lot of broad categories,” City Administrator Rick Childers told The Missourian when discussing the possible spray park. “We’re trying to sort through the information and come up with what we think we may want.”
A group headed by Ward 2 Alderman Barb McGlenn has met several times to discuss the spray park. Childers and Mayor Ron Blum also often attend those meetings as do park board members.
“We basically are looking at whether to have something fancy or something plain,” Childers said of possible spray park design. “We’re looking at a lot of things right now and wowing ourselves over all the things that can be done.
“Our inclination is to lean toward something more plain, but that will end up being driven by the cost.”
A budget has not been set. Childers said he did not even know at this time what kind of overall expense may be incurred.
He did say some spray parks feature only a certain number of in-ground sprinkler heads that shoot water in the air. Others include above-ground sprays and other more elaborate features.
“We’re discussing back and forth on what we want and trying to get our heads around the whole thing,” he said. “Now, we’re still trying to figure things out.”
As far as getting rid of the pool, the time line is a little more pressing because the facility will have to be removed first before anything new can be built in its place.
“We’d like to have the pool demolished sometime in the fall, and our hope would be to have some kind of spray park open by Memorial Day,” Childers said. “It’s still too early in the process to know if all that can be done, however.”
But the city administrator has started working on the demolition of the pool. A request for proposals has been made, and Childers said he has received a couple of dozen inquiries.
“We’ll see where that leads us,” he said of the RFP.
The deadline to submit a proposal is Aug. 15. Childers said he hopes to bring proposals to the board of aldermen to consider when it meets the following Monday, Aug. 20.
According to the bid specifications, the scope of demolition is to include the pool shell, pool substructure, pool supply piping, pool drain piping, pool deck, bathhouse and surrounding sidewalks and concrete approaches to the pool and bathhouse. The parking lot and Lions Club concession stand will remain.
Childers said the demolition would include filling and leveling the area after the pool was removed.
Some pool-related items will be retained, Childers said. The city will compile that list as well as where the kept items will be stored. Park board members will be involved in that process, he said.
The pool became a big topic of discussion last year and earlier this year when officials tried to decide on whether to open it for the 2012 season.
Late last year, park board members recommended to the aldermen that the facility not open because of its age and history of problems, but the board overruled the recommendation and decided to use the pool one more year.
At one time this year, however, officials opted for closure because the city could not afford to bring the facility into American With Disabilities Act compliance. But, when the handicap chair lift requirement and its $10,000-plus price tag was delayed until January 2013, aldermen opted to give the pool one more year of life.