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Pool demolition costs lacked key elements

The bids for demolishing Ted Walker Pool – itself a small part of the pool replacement project — aren’t as over budget as thought, since officials learned the initial estimate lacked administrative costs.

The Northern Wasco County Parks and Recreation District board also talked Wednesday, Aug. 27 about the possibility of moving the opening date of the new 50-meter pool back to a more typical public opening time, which would be June 13, 2015.

On the demolition bid, Interim Director Karl Cozad said the numbers were closer now that overhead costs – which get apportioned to all aspects of the project – were added in.

He expected a bid award on that work in a day or two.

On Wednesday, the district board agreed it would enter into a contract with its construction manager/general contractor, Triplett Wellman Contractors, for the construction phase of the project, which includes demolition.

The contract is for $3.95 million.

That contract, which should be finalized perhaps by today, Cozad said, will include the firm opening date of the pool, as well as other elements such as damages to be paid by the contractor if it misses the final completion date.

It will also include the final pool demolition costs, Cozad said.

Earlier, two bids for demolition and grading of the pool site came in significantly over the contractor’s $215,000 estimate, with the larger of the two, from Crestline Construction in The Dalles, being double the estimate, at $425,000, Cozad said. The other bidder, RC Northwest, was still significantly over, at $305,000.

Once costs, including the contractor’s fee, which is 3.25 percent, plus contractor’s mobilization costs and a seven percent contingency were added to the estimate, it changed the estimate “significantly,” Cozad said.

He said demolition costs are less than 10 percent of the total project cost, so even an increase over the estimate for the work won’t have a significant impact on the project.

The soonest demolition work could begin is actually reliant on when a gas line to the property can be disconnected.

Cozad said he submitted the request earlier in the week and was told it could take up to 10 days for the work to be approved and completed.

As for the opening date of the pool, Cozad asked the board Wednesday where the impetus for a Memorial Day 2015 opening came from.

He said if the thinking was, “’Gee, it would be great to do it on a holiday weekend.’ — if that’s the only critical need, it might be advantageous to us” to move it back to a more typical start.

Moving the date back would also make it “more palatable” to Triplett Wellman, he said.

Also, board members said an early start date like Memorial Day would actually be problematic because most of the staff are college students who wouldn’t be home for the summer year.

Board member Travis Dray suggested The Dalles Swim Team could have early access to the pool, before a grand opening to the public, to allow them time to test equipment and use the pool.

The swim team has already asked to have early access to the pool before its official opening.

Another option could be that the pool gets finished first and opened to the public while work continues on the office space.

While voters approved a $3.7 million bond for the pool, the income to the district actually ended up being $3.8 million.

Other revenue sources for the project include $220,000 from the Columbia Gateway Urban Renewal Agency, $100,000 in tax abatement money from Google, and a $100,000 grant from Oregon State Parks for a splash pool.

The pool design has shrunk as costs came in higher than expected. Features that would have allowed the pool to host regional or state meets were removed because of costs. Eliminated were a bulkhead, a five-foot depth at both ends of the pool to allow diving starts, and a warmup pool.

The size of office space at the pool was also dropped from 7,000 square feet down to 4,000 square feet.

The city’s urban renewal agency gave the parks district $220,000 to help build features including slides and a climbing wall.

Cozad said when he arrived on July 22 to start work on the pool — replacing Director Scott Green, who was placed on administrative leave — work had not begun on the pool construction contract.

He received the first draft of the contract from Triplett Wellman in mid-August and it has been in negotiations since.

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