Officials: Pool may not be complete until 2018

Published 1:22 am Saturday, April 1, 2017


NATCHEZ — Officials project construction on a new community swimming pool could begin as early as mid-August but may not be complete until summer 2018.

Representatives from the county, city and community development fund met this week with local architect Johnny Waycaster to discuss the bid process for the proposed half-Olympic-size swimming pool to be constructed off Liberty Road.

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Meeting earlier this week were city representatives Mayor Darryl Grennell, Board Attorney Bob Latham and Alderwoman Joyce Arceneaux-Mathis; county representatives Board Attorney Scott Slover and purchasing clerk Frances Bell; Kevin Preston of the Community Development Fund; and Waycaster.

Slover said while theoretically the bidding and contract process could be complete by July, he believes more conservatively mid-August is a better timeline due to two governmental entities being involved in the contract process.

Grennell said the pool would be open by next summer.

Waycaster said in an email approximately $200,000 worth of add-ons have been taken out of the project.

Some of the big modifications include changes to the stainless steel pool gutter to deduct $25,000; omiting the observation hill for $20,200; omitting the shade structure for $31,000; and omitting bleachers, lockers and cubicle storage units to deduct $40,200.

Waycaster said with the modifications, he believes the original bid would have been $250,000 to $350,000 lower, however that still would have put the project $300,000 to $400,000 over budget.

With the projects being split up into two separate bids, Waycaster said officials are anticipating significant savings from markups by contractors. Leaders have theorized splitting construction projects would enable more contractors to bid — as some pool contractors may not be able to handle a building and would have to subcontract — and create a more competitive bidding process.

Slover said the group that met was able to carve out two separate, but interrelated projects in the pool and support building.

Slover said the project would include alternatives, which would be broken down by price, for example lockers in the support building.

“The lockers will be an add-on, and not on the base price,” Slover said. “So we should get something like $X, but $Y if you want locker room.

“The add-on was already discussed by the recreational committee and the group that met Tuesday did not see any reason not to add it as a potential. It does not have to be built or awarded and such a decision will probably depend on whether it is necessary to host (school swimming team) meets or use the facilities.”