News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

September 17, 2013

Central pool plan passes deadline

No petitions filed in time to stop replacement of school aquatic centers

TERRE HAUTE — The deadline has passed, and no one has initiated a remonstrance process to block construction of a new, centrally located swimming pool for the Vigo County School Corp.

The new pool would replace aging pools at the district’s three major high schools.

The deadline to initiate a remonstrance process with the county Voter Registration Office was Monday.

 “We are pleased to have heard that no one has remonstrated against the aquatic center project,” said Dan Tanoos, Vigo County schools superintendent.

On Aug. 12, the School Board voted unanimously to move forward with the proposal. The project, because of its estimated $9.8 million price tag, was subject to a petition/remonstrance process.

The board on Aug. 15 published a legal notice of its preliminary decision to issue bonds for the project, and those objecting had 30 days to file a petition signed by at least 100 registered voters or property owners.

Now that the deadline has passed, Tanoos said he will inform the School Board and ask permission to move forward with the next steps in the process. Those next steps would involve consulting with bond counsel and selecting a construction management firm and architect/engineer for the project.

Nothing has been finalized as far as a location for the pool, Tanoos said. “We do have a short list. I’ll share that with the board in the near future.”

He declined to name those sites on the short list.

“We are trying to find the most suitable site that is as centrally located as we can find, also keeping in mind the cost factor,” he said.

Sites that have been ruled out include the Kerman Grotto off National Avenue; Terre Haute Boys & Girls Club property at 220 N. Third St.; and the Thompson Honda site at First and Ohio streets.

Engineering “entities” have said the Kerman Grotto “is not a suitable site,” Tanoos said. The two other sites don’t meet the size requirement and have “a very hefty price tag,” he said.

He said the pool committee is involved in the site selection process.

Last month, Mayor Duke Bennett indicated there had been preliminary discussions about possibly locating a pool on city-owned property, such as at Voorhees Park.

On Monday, Bennett said there has been some dialogue off and on, but nothing official. If the school district formally indicates an interest in the site, “We’ll put it in front of the park board,” he said.

Preliminary plans call for a swimming center that would be 30,000 square feet. It would house a 25-yard-by-50-meter pool to accommodate swimming and diving; a small therapeutic pool for physical therapy and rehabilitation; seating for 300 to 500 spectators; and space for lockers, offices, concession and storage areas.

The cost cannot exceed $9.8 million, and the project would be funded through a general obligation bond issue.

Additional board action will be taken to hire an architect; approve project design and specifications; as well as solicit and award construction bids.

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

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