Another step: Aquatic center enters final design phase

The City of Fergus Falls is entering the final design phase for the voter approved aquatic center project

The City of Fergus Falls is entering the final design phase for the voter approved aquatic center project with consultations between city staff, community members and JLG Architects and have come forward with recommendation to the Fergus Falls City Council to accept plans and specifications and authorize the advertising of bids.

The agenda item was discussed at the Committee of the Whole meeting held on Jun. 28. City Engineer Brian Yavarow detailed where the project was at.

“The estimated probable construction cost for the biggest base bid work is $8.2 million. There are alternates that we were proposing too for an additional $830,000. So the total combined construction contract is estimated at $9.1 million. That’s including all alternates,” stated Yavarow.

Yavarow said they hoped to open bids received in late July. Currently the city has legislative authority for a 10.8 million project.

Adam Barnett with JLG Architects then gave a presentation detailing the project from access to the site, parking, sidewalk connections, and the basic design plan with a climbing wall included.

“We’ve added some extra in here that we’ll be bidding as alternates, so we’ll get individual prices on those to see how they come back,” stated Barnett.

It will be a zero depth entry pool. For those not aware, a zero entry pool is a style of swimming pool that has a sloping type entrance. So no stairs and ladders are needed. Some have called these types of pools as beach pools.

An open area in the design also allows a space for a food truck. Barnett went on to describe other various placements of changing rooms and amenities and their locations.

Council member Scott Rachels asked Barnett how canopies that are included would fare in the winter months with three feet of snow. Barnett stated the canopies around the pool would need to be removed during winter months.

“Those canopies do require some seasonal maintenance. They’re not designed to be out all winter with the heavy snow that we get.

The next step in the process will be approval of the plans and advertising for bids at the next council meeting on Jul. 3.

In another council matter, a tax increment financing (TIF) development agreement with Kevin Bartram, owner of the former Red River Milling Company building, Flour Mill LLC was presented for discussion.

Community Development Manager Klara Beck said Bartram was requesting a development agreement for inclusion with TIF documentation, as well as a separate action approving a $160,000 purchase of approximately 20,200 square feet of unimproved parking lot adjacent to the mill to fill a final financing gap. Finance Director Bill Sonmor said that the city would be purchasing the parking lot area outright.

A motion for the two items relating to the mill was approved to be added to the agenda for the Jul. 3 meeting.