Aquatics center searching for answers to size, funding
By Tara DeRock Mahoney
Senior Staff Writer
Recreation department officials hope that as many as four contractors could produce competitive bids this month to build an indoor pool in Morgan County.
County officers will open bids May 30 that could lead to a contract to build an eight-lane, year-round pool.
“We’re trying to find out what we might have to spend,” said Bill Wood, director of the Morgan County Recreation Department.
“We’ll have several questions to answer after the bid opening—will we go forward? Will we borrow the balance of money needed for the project? What is that balance?” said Wood. The county hopes to take in $750,000 over the course of a five-year SPLOST initiative that started in spring 2007, funds earmarked for a swimming pool. Recreation board members recently decided to put out a bid for an indoor pool, rather than a pool with a seasonal bubble—as had been initially discussed—due to cost considerations and life expectancies of the two types of shelter.
“The cost of the building and the cost of the bubble…are comparable,” said Wood.
“The life expectancy of the building is 20 to 25 years; the life expectancy of the bubble is only seven to 10 years.”
Adds Wood, “The negative to the building is that you don’t have any sunshine—but you don’t have any rain, either.” The design-build bids for the indoor pool are due by noon on May 30, and Wood says that the design specifications will leave room for the possible later development of a water park at the East Avenue location in Madison. However, those designs are not part of the current request for bids. In other recreation news, the passive hiking park on Fears Road in western Morgan County continues to develop; the recreation department hopes to contract for the building of restrooms at that park in the coming months.