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Park Board Considers $5M Renovation of Pool, Pool Building

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Copyright 2013 The Bismarck Tribune, a division of Lee Enterprises
All Rights Reserved

The Bismarck Tribune
October 15, 2013 Tuesday
DAKOTA WIRE; Pg. B1
406 words
Hillside Pool renovations considered
LEANN ECKROTH Bismarck Tribune

The Bismarck Park Board on Thursday will consider nearly $5 million in possible renovations to the Hillside Pool. Consultant JLG Architects will update board members on the favored options of replacing the 60-year-old pool and making its building a year-round facility.

The meeting starts at 5:15 p.m. at the City/County Building.

Executive Parks and Recreation Director Randy Bina said public comment favored renovating the existing building so it can be used all year for meetings.

"The upstairs can hold 125 people," he said.

To make the pool's building more meeting-friendly, Bina said, it will need an elevator to be accessible to everyone as well as heating and renovation. He said the building could be used for picnics or public meetings like the Sertoma facility.

"On the aquatic side, people have said they want a new pool with lanes for lap swimming features, wet playground equipment and slide components," Bina said.

Most of the renovation and new features are estimated at between $4.2 million and $5 million, according to Bina.

"We still have not spent our TIF (tax increment finance district) fund reserves returned to us by the city. We've kept it in anticipation of a project like this," he said.

In December 2011, the Bismarck City Commission returned nearly $9 million in TIF funds to taxing entities, including the park district, city general budget, Burleigh County and the school district. The park district received a little less than $1 million. Within the Bismarck TIF district, taxable properties in the downtown borders remain the same level they were in 1979, but all current taxes above that are used to pay for urban development projects for the downtown.

If the board approves, "we'll finalize the cost of design and scope of the pool," Bina said.

He said the board might decide to advertise for a company to design the renovation and put the work out for bid sometime in 2014. Construction might start after the outdoor swimming season ends early next August.

JLG was hired to do the facilities study for the pool, but the pool design phase will have to be bid out as a separate project, Bina said.

"This has been the No. 1 rated project during our facilities study. The swimming pool is 60 years old. We had a Lions Park master plan where we did a number of improvements. Replacing the swimming pool is the last major project there," Bina said.

(Reach LeAnn Eckroth at 701-250-8264 or leann.eckroth@bismarcktribune.com)

October 16, 2013

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