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Carolina Beach Approves Additional Funding For Pool Project

Rendering of a proposed 204,000 gallon, 25 yard, 8-lane, NCAA compliant swimming pool to be located adjacent to the Town's recreation center. The Council approved additional funding at their November 12, meeting to address additional design requirements in order to take bids on the project.

Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - The Carolina Beach Town Council approved additional funding for the design of a proposed community pool during their November 12, meeting.
In April of this year the Carolina Beach Community Pool Steering Committee gave a presentation to the Town Council on a proposal to build a swimming pool adjacent to the Town's Recreation Center behind Town Hall on land already owned by the Town. The Council approved the next step in the process at the April meeting to complete the final construction drawings and obtain all final bids and structure a loan and terms with the Local Government Commission.
Highlights include a 204,000 gallon, 25 yard, 8-lane, NCAA compliant swimming pool complemented by a zero entry shallow end, ADA accessible ramp, and 9’ diving well. The facility would be open in the Summer and covered by a “bubble” enclosure in the winter for year-round use. Access to the facility will be through the existing rec center entryway and a covered walkway that leads to the pool.  Leveraging the existing check-in desk would reduce the annual admin cost of running the facility. It would also include locker rooms, storage building with an open design, separate admin counter that can be utilized for concessions, and a family changing room.
The committee sent out surveys in utility bills earlier this year and held community meetings including one at the Katie B. Hines Senior Center.
Committee member Duke Hagestrom said, "The majority of the community has expressed interest in a swimming pool – 55% percent are in favor which is much larger than the typical 30% in most average communities according to the USA Swimming “Build a Pool” workshop.  A large number of those who said “No” had a caveat that they would be in support of the facility if it wouldn’t be a burden to tax payers.  Another group that said “No” indicated their displeasure with some of the Town’s infrastructure and water quality."
Hagestrom explained, "As highlighted in the Town’s Park and Rec Master Plan, the NRPA and NCDENR suggest a pool for every 20,000 residents.  There are over 70,000 residents between Pleasure Island and the closest YWCA pool."
Hagestrom said parking can be accommodated on site and for large events parking could be facilitated at the neighboring church or other nearby locations. He said, "Cost of construction is estimated to range from approximately $900,000 to $1.15 million. Cost of operations is estimated to range from $289,000 to $314,000 per year. Income is estimated to range from $232,000 to $366,000 per year."
He said the Rec Center currently has over 1,500 members and revenue projections were based on checking with other pools in the area and using conservative estimates of between 30 and 50% of the revenue they can achieve. He said, "The bottom line is our most likely scenario would see the Town breaking even with a swing of about $50,000 one way or the other."
Fees would be higher for non-residents. Infrequent users could purchase passes while frequent users could purchase membership packages of $200 for resident individuals and $340 for resident families for year round use. Also, a 15% discount for seniors, 20% discount for members of the pool and rec center and visitor passes for guests of $10 per person or $30 per family. Revenues would also be generated by various programs such as scuba diving classes and swim team events.
At the Council's November 12, meeting Parks and Recreation Director Eric Jelinkski explained, "We have been working hard on this project and have been meeting weekly and our overall goal of getting this project to bid, we are very close to doing that but we need some additional funds."
Jelinkski explained Council had appropriated $51,000 to the steering committee to look into the feasibility and cost of a possible Community Pool on Carolina Beach. The Town has contracted with Lisle Architecture for the completed schematic design and Design Development phases of planning for this project. At a recent value engineering meeting, it was realized that the cost of this project could be significantly decreased. However, in order to proceed with the design changes additional funds are needed for design and civil work.
To date the following has been spent:
• $ 3,500.00 Schematic Design Documents- Lisle Architecture
• $ 15,875 Engineering services
• $ 28,448.26 Design Development Documents- Lisle Architecture
• $ 348.94 Additional Printing Fees- Lisle Architecture
• $ 2,000.00 Council Presentation Pool Video- Seven Season Films
• $ 50,172.20 Total spent on pool project
Jelinkski explained, "In order to complete the project design for bid documents an additional amount of $12,429.76 is needed. The $12,429.76 will cover the front end bid documents, value engineering design and civil changes, bid preparation and negotiation."
He explained, "Some changes had to be made. Those changes include relocating the pool a little bit to not interfere with some utilities, changes to the dressing rooms and the building to cut cost on the project. And at the public meetings we had, we heard loud and clear that we needed a plan for a parking lot and those additional funds requested acknowledge that and include a design for engineering for the parking lot and storm water."
Jelinkski said making changes to the design of the building will lead to an estimated reduction of $100 per square foot in construction costs.
He said the additional funding will allow them to get an accurate cost of the project once they receive bids from contractors. That additional funding will allow completion of the plans prior to soliciting those bids.
Councilman Steve Shuttleworth said the pool wasn't designed over existing utilities. He said, "When you look at where the storm water pipe is it was pretty tight and required four bends in the pipe and each one of those bends... cost additional money. By moving the pool a few feet they were able to do away with one of those bends" and save money through value engineering.
He said paving an area for a parking lot would require a storm water system beneath the lot. He said, "Going out to bid. It has two components. Everything including the parking lot and then a break out price for the parking lot and then at that point Council and the community will understand what it cost to build the pool. As many have said it's not just the cost of building a pool, it’s the cost of operating and what the revenues are."
Mayor Bob Lewis explained, "When I went around talking to people door to door, there was really a split in the community about the pool. Half the people want the pool, half the people don't want the pool. It might be a couple of percent either way, but that's still sitting out there. The concern I have is continually on investing in the pool but we still have that fifty fifty. I'm open to listening to some other people. The people that want the pool are very passionate about it. The people who don't want a pool are very passionate about it. It's kind of split the community a little bit and I'm kind of concerned about that myself as a person, just a citizen, a resident."
Lewis explained, "During the election there were some suggestions that, maybe not this pool. When I've talked to some seniors who said they were totally supporting a pool, it was supporting a pool but this design is not really what I have to have."
Councilman Tom Bridges explained, "We probably would not bring this to a vote of the Council until January which there will be new people up here. I think we should wait before we add any more money to this project."
Council member Sarah Friede said, "I feel like if we don't spend it, that first $50,000 was a waste."
Council member Jody Smith made a motion to approve of the additional funding to complete the engineering and soliciting bids on the project.
The Council voted three to two with Council members Sarah Friede, Steve Shuttleworth and Jody Smith voting in favor and Councilman Tom Bridges and Mayor Bob Lewis voting no.

For more information on the pool project, visit the Town's website at