LEWISTON — The city will move forward building a pared-down pool house for Kennedy Park, hoping to open the building before summer swimming season begins.
Plans call for a simple 1,000-square-foot building with restrooms and an office, according to Deputy City Administrator Phil Nadeau. Bids for the project, approved by councilors in October, came in higher than expected. As a result, the project has been reduced even more.
“It’s a pretty modest structure right now,” Nadeau told councilors Thursday at a special workshop meeting. “It’s a simple roof, simple materials and smaller building.”
Councilors approved the plan for a building with room for two small changing rooms, some bathrooms and office space for recreation department staff in October. The building was to cost no more than $100,000 to build.
The park’s old pool house was torn down in 2006, after the previous council approved a plan for a host of renovations at the park. Those changes included a splash pad to replace the old wading pool, $267,895 for a new pool house and $250,000 for a master plan.
Councilors voted last April to deauthorize that funding, after work on the splash pad was finished and the old pool house had been torn down. It was never replaced, and the city has used temporary trailers and portable toilets since.
Nadeau said Thursday that the lowest bid for the project came in at $126,900 for the construction alone. Contractor Pizzagalli Construction has since removed another $20,720 from the project to bring it under budget. That involves replacing plans for a concrete foundation with a simple slab, installing less expensive doors and windows and replacing more durable cement board siding with cheaper vinyl siding.
Nadeau said the entire project, including fencing around the building and pool and site work, should cost $124,000. That would be paid with federal Community Block Grant money dedicated for Kennedy Park repairs.
“It’s going on a slab, so this should come together pretty quickly,” Nadeau said. “We shouldn’t have trouble getting this completed before the pool opens, but we need to know sooner so we can move forward.”
While councilors Renee Bernier and Larry Poulin both balked at the price, other councilors agreed to the plan. Nadeau said they see a formal vote on the project at their May 4 meeting.
But Nadeau said councilors need to direct staff about what other work needs to be done at Kennedy Park. The city closed the park’s signature gazebo in March after engineers declared it unsafe.
“The park just needs a lot of work,” Nadeau said. “The gazebo needs work, and we have requests for new park benches. We need to know from councilors what the priorities are. The point is, people want us to do something there.”