Pool renovation costs exceed bond budget by $500,000
By Matt Ward
More than a year after voters approved a $1.8 million bond for renovations at Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park Pool, the Fredericksburg City Council will soon determine whether or not the original design shown to voters prior to the election will ultimately be constructed.
Bids for the project opened Aug. 7 came in at least $500,000 over the $1.6 million budget for construction work, leaving the council to decide whether to change the design or find additional money to fund the project.
No decision was reached during the meeting and the council is expected to continue discussion on the project during their next regular meeting, slated for Tuesday, Sept. 3.
“It’s like I ordered my Cadillac and when it came in, it was a Volkswagen,” Fredericksburg Mayor Jeryl Hoover said. “What has happened (to the project cost) to go from the pool committee recommendation at $1.6 million to basically redoing what we have at $1.6? I’m not challenging the expertise, but it doesn’t make any sense.”
Citing a “significant shift in the market,” city pool consultant Mark Hatchel of Kimley-Horn said that bids well exceeded the projections offered by the consultant earlier this year.
“Honestly, my opinion wasn’t right in February and I apologize for that,” Hatchel said. “I was trying to be right. I think if we rebid it, I think it’s going to cost more in January 2014 than it costs in August 2013.”
In the design put out to bid, most of the existing park pool would be reutilized as part of two separate bodies of water at the new facility, a 2,386-square-foot recreational pool and a 25 yard by 25 meter competition lap pool with ¾ meter diving board.
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