Workers install steel rebar Tuesday as they prepare to pour the concrete for one of the two pool tanks that are under construction as part of the Burlington Community Aquatic Center. A city official says the project is on track to be finished by Memorial Day weekend in May. (Photo by Ed Nadolski)

It’s also on budget despite unforeseen expenses, official says

By Ed Nadolski

Editor in Chief

After nearly three months of demolition and construction, the new Burlington Community Aquatic Center is on track for it’s planned opening on Memorial Day weekend in May 2018, according to City Administrator Carina Walters.

“Everyone is very excited to see the progress thus far,” she said.

However, that doesn’t mean there haven’t been bumps along the way.

The first of those came early in the project when excavators discovered excessive topsoil at the construction site in Devor Park, Walters said. Crews had to remove several feet of topsoil and replace it with a more stable base to support construction of the building and two pool tanks.

Walters said the city anticipated paying Reesman’s Excavating and Grading about $137,000 for the work, but that amount ballooned by an additional $150,000 due to the removal and replacement of the topsoil.

“It was definitely one of our larger overruns,” she said, noting the problem wasn’t evident until crews began moving earth at the site in September.

Walters said there will also be additional expenses for the inclusion of a high-dive and a required deepening of the diving well by an additional foot as well as some additional amenities in the concessions area of the pool building.

Walters said members of the Burlington Community Pool Board Inc. – a volunteer board that will run the facility on behalf of the city – requested those additions after studying other successful pools and aquatic centers.

She said Pool Board members viewed the changes as crucial to viability of the facility, which will be operated at no cost to taxpayers.

In addition to memberships and daily fees, the operation will glean revenue from concessions sold at the facility, according to Pool Board members.


Project still within budget

Despite the unplanned expenses, Walters said the pool project remains within its budget.

“I think we’re over the hump in terms of unforeseen expenses,” she said.

A year ago City of Burlington voters approved borrowing up to $5.4 million to build the new aquatic center, which replaces the 51-year-old community pool.

Walters said it is now up to the Common Council to determine how the added costs should be absorbed within the pool’s budget and contingency fund. She said members of the construction team – which includes Ayres and Associates and Scherrer Construction – as well as members of the Pool Board, are scheduled to update the Common Council on the project at Tuesday’s regularly scheduled meeting.

To read the full story, please see the Nov. 30 edition of the Burlington Standard Press.