WALLINGFORD — The Town Council on Tuesday evening unanimously approved a design concept for Community Pool and a surrounding park, with an estimated cost of $5.65 million.
The proposed renovation of the entire North Main Street Extension property has been in the works for more than a year.
Kenny Michaels, the new Parks and Recreation director, Michael Savenelli Sr., Parks and Recreation Commission member and pool committee chairman, and Michael P. Fortuna, principal at TLBA Architecture, presented and answered questions from the council.
According to the presentation, the proposed site plan would include a new, 8,000-square-foot pool, with four lap lanes and wade-in entry, splash pad with an activation module so the water would only run when someone is using it, a new bathhouse with family changing rooms, a 116-space parking lot, shade structures and 12 new trees.
Optional amenities include 52 trees, sand volleyball, playground, picnic pavilion, activity lawn, planting beds, gravel path and community garden.
The total base construction cost is estimated at $4.9 million, including demolition, site preparation, new buildings and structures, new aquatic facilities, site work and contingency.
With $750,000 in soft costs added in, the total project cost is $5.65 million.
The pool currently uses about 1 million gallons of water, and the new pool would use more than 80 percent less water, at 175,000 gallons.
Fortuna said the bathhouse would use natural daylight, reducing electricity costs. There would be fewer impervious surfaces, meaning less runoff into the wetlands.
He said that a concrete pool would be expected to last 50 years, and the bathhouse would last 25 to 30 years.
Councilors Gina Morgenstein and Craig Fishbein asked about expanding the proposed number of lap lanes. The design has four lanes, but Morgenstein suggested six lanes, and Fishbein suggested eight lanes, enough for competitive swimming.
Fortuna said 8,000 square feet is “good for a community of this size,” based on research comparing other towns.
Michaels said there’s no competitive swimming right now at the current 6-lane pool. He said the average number of concurrent lap swimmers is three to four on a busy day.
To keep on schedule, the committee is seeking approval from town land use commissions this fall and hopes to complete the final construction documents by the end of February 2020. Bidding and contracting would be in spring 2020 and construction would begin as soon as the ground was ready, around June 2020. After a year of construction, the pool would reopen in 2021.
The pool likely won't be open next summer to allow for construction. It’s unclear if the town will offer an alternative site.