By Larry Coonrod
Nearly two years after voters passed a a $7.9 million bond levy to build a new aquatic center, the City of Newport plans a public groundbreaking on Oct. 26. The new center will replace the city’s 50-something year-old pool when it opens in 2016 and will located adjacent to the south side of the Newport Recreation Center. The soon-to-be-constructed Aquatic Center has been designed to include an eight-lane 25-yard competition pool; expanded locker rooms; a warm water multi-use pool; and seating for up to 300 spectators.
The Newport City Council in September agreed to some modifications of the initial design after the lowest bid came in at $8.35 million. Combined with the need for a 5 percent contingency fund and a 1 percent art tax, the project ballooned to a projected cost of $9.5 million. City staff say an improved economy since the vote two years ago and inflation contributed to the higher than expected bids.
To bring the project within a manageable budget the council approved dropping an ultraviolet water treatment process for a savings of $89,000. It canceled plans to expand the city campus parking lot along with and adopted alternative engineering options to cut budget gap to $452,000. The council also gave the go ahead to tap the city’s general fund for $50,000 and room tax revenue for an additional $430,000 over two years.
A intra-government loan from the Agate Beach Landfill closure fund will cover the 5 percent contingency recommended to cover unexpected costs. The city plans to negotiate a lease-purchase agreement for an adjacent property at at $3,950 month to gain an additional 100 parking spaces. Additionally, the city will recognize an economy in sharing mutual reception staff for the existing Recreation Center and the Aquatic Center
Public Invited to Groundbreaking
City officials are inviting the public to the groundbreaking, which will take place at noon on Oct.26 on the patio at the Newport Recreation Center.
The community is invited to attend the groundbreaking for the city’s new Aquatic Center. This event will be held on Monday, October 26, 2015, at noon, on the patio at the Newport Recreation Center, 225 SE Avery Street (enter through the main entrance of the Recreation Center). The event is free and open to the public.
The event will begin with an introduction by City Manager Spencer Nebel, followed by short speeches by:
- Mayor Sandra Roumagoux
- Parks and Recreation Director Jim Protiva
- Aquatics Supervisor Kathy Cline
- Shannon Blackburn, member of the Newport Swim Club
- Scott Stolarczyk, Project Architect with Robertson Sherwood Architects
- Adam Perna, Executive Vice President, Pavilion Construction
Immediately following the speeches, ground will be broken on the Aquatic Center project. Refreshments will follow.
The Newport Recreation Center is located at 225 SE Avery Street (enter through the main entrance of the Recreation Center). The event is free and open to the public.