News and Tribune

Floyd County

April 30, 2014

New Albany accepts aquatic center bid

Outdoor pool scheduled to open in a year

NEW ALBANY — The city is swimming toward a May 2015 opening date for its outdoor aquatic center, as the New Albany Redevelopment Commission approved a construction project for the facility Wednesday.

During a special session, the commission OK’d a deal with Krempp Construction of Jasper to construct the center for about $7.6 million. The base bid for the project was $6.89 million, and the additional cost is for the seven alternate features the city agreed to add to the facility.

One of the main additions is a steamboat with water cannons and other features aimed for children to enjoy that will be situated in the zero-depth-entry pool.

The commission and administration also chose state-of-the-art filtration systems for the aquatic center said David Duggins, director of redevelopment and economic development for the city.

“We’ll have the cleanest public pool in the region,” he said.

The aquatic center is being footed through a bond that will be paid back with tax-increment financing funds. It will be located at the former Camille Wright Pool site off Daisy Lane.

Duggins said the site is ready for construction, and that demolition work could begin soon.

“We expect them to get out there as quickly as possible,” he said.

Redevelopment member and New Albany City Councilman John Gonder raised concerns about the cost of the aquatic center last year.  He conceded Wednesday it’s a little late in the process to demand a new design for the facility.

“I was never opposed to the idea of the pool,” Gonder said. “I did question the fact it seemed to cost more than what some of the other engineering firms that you’re able to research on the Internet would have told you it could have been done at.”

Gonder added that he knocked on doors and spoke to about 50 residents, and the majority sentiment was that the aquatic center would be a good feature for the city.

“It’s something that I think is good for the community to have,” Gonder said.

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