News From Terre Haute, Indiana

April 21, 2014

Board approves bond structure to fund central pool project

$9.8M aquatic center at Voorhees Park on schedule; bids to be solicited in May

Sue Loughlin
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — The Vigo County School Corp.’s $9.8 million aquatics center is “on schedule” and “the budget looks good,” Superintendent Dan Tanoos told the School Board on Monday.

James Funk of CSO Architects and Lance Gassert of Garmong Construction Services also made a presentation.

The pool will be built in Voorhees Park.

The project is now in the construction document phase, and the project should go to bid in May. Gassert said he anticipates the board will be able to award contracts in June. “Potentially we could be breaking ground at the end of June,” he said.

The facility will be completed and occupied by Aug. 17, 2015, he said.

A grand boulevard entrance will come from Prairieton Road. The parking lot can be used for the aquatics center or other features of Voorhees Park, including the skate park.

The 50-meter by 25-yard Olympic-size pool will have two bulkheads, which will provide flexibility for different swimming events. There is a shallow, 4-foot zone in the pool that can be used for physical education and other purposes.

A spectator area has about 360 seats, and there is a public lobby with restrooms. Other aspects include a wet classroom, a therapy pool and locker rooms. The overall facility is about 30,000 square feet.

Funk said a logo is in the works and will be integrated into the design.

Board members raised some questions about the roof. Jackie Lower wanted to know the pitch of the roof, which Funk said would be one-quarter inch per foot. He described it as a low slope roof from which water would flow to roof drains.

Funk said the district would bid three alternates for roof materials, which would have different price ranges and warranties. Warranties would range from 15 to 30 years.

Gassert said his company has worked with the district’s roofing consultant. “They’ve given us feedback, and we’ve incorporated that into the design,” he said.

Board member Tom Thomas also raised concerns about the roof, referring to the problems — and expenses — the school district has had with flat roofs at the high schools.

Tanoos noted that a pilot program for the elementary-level Swim by 7 program is under way. The program, benefiting kindergarten students at all elementary schools, would be offered at the new aquatics facility.

Tanoos also noted the district will launch a fundraising effort benefiting the aquatics facility in which people can donate money to have someone’s name engraved on a brick; it could be to honor someone or in memory of someone. The project is similar to what the Terre Haute Children’s Museum has done, Tanoos said.

Funds would be used to maintain the pool and “to ensure we have everything we need in the pool,” he explained after the meeting.

Those funds raised would become a line item within the school district’s budget and dedicated to the pool project, he said. A brochure also has been developed

Tanoos said the aquatics facility design is essentially complete, although some areas are being fine-tuned. A pool committee has reviewed plans and had significant input, he said.

Once the project goes out to bid “we will know exactly what we can and can’t have” in terms of cost, Tanoos said.

He noted he’s been approached by one college about potentially using the pool for Title IX purposes and a swimming program.

He’s also been contacted by the Indiana High School Athletic Association, he said. “It looks like we’ll be a premier swimming facility in this part of the state,” he said.

In a related matter, the board approved a final bond resolution related to the format of the bonds. The project is being funded through a bond issue.

There will be a notice in the newspaper of an intent to sell bonds, a bid process and then awarding of the bid.

The facility will replace aging pools at Terre Haute North, Terre Haute South and West Vigo high schools.

The school district has a lease agreement with the city parks board to use about eight acres of the park.

Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or sue.loughlin@tribstar.com.