News and Tribune

April 22, 2014

Bids accepted for aquatic center in New Albany

Contractor expected to be chosen next week

By CHRIS MORRIS
chris.morris@newsandtribune.com

NEW ALBANY — Interested contractors filled the third floor Assembly Room of the City-County Building Tuesday, waiting to hear the bids for New Albany’s new aquatic center.

The Redevelopment Commission opened the seven bids, and President Irving Joshua also read the 14 alternate bids submitted by each contractor.

The bid is expected to be awarded at a special redevelopment meeting at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 29.

Base bids ranged from $6.89 million to $7.99 million.

The aquatic center will be located at the old Camille Wright Pool site, off Daisy Lane, which closed in 2008. It was originally estimated to cost about $9 million to construct the facility, as the project is being footed through a bond that will be repaid with tax-increment financing revenue.

The aquatic center is expected to be completed for the 2015 swimming season. Dave Duggins, the city’s director of economic development and redevelopment, said officials estimate about 70,000 visitors a season will visit the pool. He said admission costs will range from $5 to $7 for a city resident, to up to $10 for out-of-town guests. The city has not yet determined a final admission charge.

Duggins said the city was “extremely conservative” when estimating the average number of visitors each summer.  

The Estopinal Group, the lead design firm for the aquatic center, estimates the aquatic center would generate $932,512 annually. Concession sales would account for $153,000 annually, according to the estimates.

BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB IMPROVEMENTS

The Redevelopment Commission unanimously approved New Albany architectural firm Michell Timperman and Ritz to oversee the improvements slated for the Ekin Avenue Recreation Center, 1721 Ekin Ave., which houses the Ed Endris Boys & Girls Club.

Improvements, which should cost around $200,000, will include a new roof, gutters, heating and cooling system and painting.

“The mayor is very excited about this project,” Duggins told commission members. “It’s a very valuable entity our community.”

EMPTY HOUSES

Commission and New Albany City Council members Dan Coffey and John Gonder will head up a committee to look at ways to partner with private contractors to build homes in empty lots around the city.

“The city owns hundreds of lots,” Coffey told the members. “I would like to work with the public and private sector where a builder could buy a lot for a nominal fee and try to get some houses built instead of torn down.”

The committee will gather the information and report back to the commission.