Completion of pool project expected in early May

Published 1:01 am Friday, February 23, 2018

By Sabrina Simms

NATCHEZ — Construction of a new public swimming pool is ahead of schedule and should be ready for area swimmers in early May.

“Given about a month of delays we’ve had with the weather, we’re still ahead of schedule,” architect Johnny Waycaster told Adams County supervisors Tuesday.

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Waycaster said construction is expected to reach completion by May 4.

The swimming pool is being built near the Adams County Safe Room behind Chester Willis Field on Liberty Road.

Waycaster said the project consists of two separate contracts: one contract for a building with bathrooms and lockers and the other for the swimming pool.

“Both projects were notified to proceed on Oct. 16, 2017,” Waycaster said. “The timeline that has transpired to date is 63 percent. … The swimming pool is approximately 78-percent complete. The building itself is 60-percent complete.”

One part of the building consists of offices for check-in, and another side includes restroom facilities.

“The pool is L-shaped,” Waycaster said. “There’s a competitive side that is 60-feet wide and 75-feet-and-1-inch long to meet the criteria for Junior Olympics.”

The other part of the pool, Waycaster said, has a splash fountain for children and a step down into a 3-foot-deep pool. He said the competitive side is one-half the size of an Olympic pool to classify it as junior Olympic. It ranges from 3- to 7-feet deep.

Waycaster said lockers for the swim teams’ dressing rooms are being provided by the YMCA.

One concern of the Board of Supervisors is the pool is not heated and therefore can only be used during warmer months.

“When the project was bid, there were two large alternate prices,” Waycaster said. “Neither one was accepted into the budget. (One) was for the swimming team locker rooms with showers and the other was with the cover over the competitive side.”

Waycaster said the only way for the pool to be heated would be to include the cover, which would cost approximately $150,000 more at its lowest price.

“This is a 225,000-gallon pool,” Waycaster said. “It has 65,000 square feet of surface.

“To heat that much water, even in a covered portion— we’re talking about a $10,000 gas heater with a major utility cost already — to do that in an unenclosed environment … not only is the cost prohibitive, but no one is going to go into a heated pool in December even if the water is warm … and get in and out in 30-degree weather.”

Although it is not in the current budget, Waycaster said it is possible to add the heating component in the future to utilize the pool year-round.