Rifle pool project no longer treading water
Rifle’s Art Dague Pool renovation project has been discussed, reshaped and put on hold by Rifle City Council and city officials at several points over the past two years. But, with a commitment from council on a guaranteed maximum price before the end of 2018, the project looks to be moving forward in 2019.
“There’s no turning back at this point,” City Manager Scott Hahn said.
Rifle Parks and Recreation Director Tom Whitmore said he hopes to open the new pool by Memorial Day weekend in 2020. The construction timeline will be from fall 2019 to May 2020. That period of time would encompass the pool’s normal seasonal closures, regardless.
Whitmore said this was an important milestone for the project, as everybody knew there was a need for a new aquatic facility. But the question became to what degree the community would be willing to go, he said.
“I think we are all at a comfort level that we are going to pay for this,” he added. “We won’t just be incurring more and more debt.”
At the Dec. 19 Rifle City Council meeting, the board authorized a contract with FCI for construction of the pool for the guaranteed maximum price of $6,059,246, with a total project budget of just over $8 million.
According to project consultant Phil Vaughan, approval of the cost will allow the city to move forward with the project and to start the preparation and approval of shop drawings and order materials.
Vaughan said it’s been long hard work to get within the $8 million budget that council agreed with over the past several months.
The project budget includes the base plan with a family whirlpool, renovated bath houses, improved guard and first-aid stations and a new, larger lap lane pool.
“I think the work project they have developed is excellent and I think it will serve us well over the next year and a half as we construct the project,” council member Ed Green said.
“I’m really excited to be at this point,” said mayor pro tem Theresa Hamilton. “A lot of tough discussions all around – it’s great to begin moving forward.”
The board voted unanimously at its Dec. 19 meeting to approve the guaranteed maximum price on the project. The board also agreed to authorize Hahn to execute change orders for the project.
“I think people are going to be really happy,” Whitmore added.