Archive for Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Architects unveil plans for new city pool

Features include 5 swimming lanes, two diving boards, zero-depth area for youngsters

June 27, 2007

Everyone in the council chambers gathered around as Steve Palmer of Sullivan Palmer Architects showed updated renderings for the design of the new Tonganoxie Pool during Monday's City Council meeting.

Palmer said he tried to keep the design as close to the original design that Tonganoxie residents approved in an April referendum.

Council member Paula Crook still had her reservations about not putting the design contract up for bid. But she liked the renderings of the new pool.

"I think it's going to be a nice pool," she said. "The designs they showed us ... look nice."

The new 6,400-square-foot pool has five swimming lanes, two diving boards, a zero-depth area for younger swimmers with special seating for parents, along with other amenities inside the pool house.

The pool house was a brick building with a green-shingled roof, skylights a clock tower and several changing areas for individuals and families.

Palmer said the shingle color was only part of the rendering and not a final choice.

Another feature added to the pool house a set of plastic lockers where guest can bring in their own padlocks to lock their belongings up while they swim.

One of the changes from the original plan was not separating the toddler pool from the main pool.

"The committee thought to separate this pool would cost $100,000 extra, so to keep cost down we thought we would try this, but have the pool staff enforce toddlers needing to wear diaper swimsuits, and hopefully that would mitigate any kind of a fecal incident in the pool," said City Administrator Mike Yanez.

A question raised to Palmer by Tonganoxie Mayor Mike Vestal was about slides not going into the pool, similar to the slides at the current pool.

Architectural rendering for the design of the new Tonganoxie Pool.

Architectural rendering for the design of the new Tonganoxie Pool.

Palmer said the long bathtub-like pools of water where the sliders would exit was needed for safety reasons.

"If you dump it into the pool, that much area can only be used for the slides," Palmer told the council.

With the shallower chutes of water for the slides, there wouldn't be a need for a lifeguard at the bottom of the slide, but there would still be a need for one at the top of the slide to control who can go.

The design also included grassy areas inside the pool area where people would be able to set out towels and lay in the sun.

"They are incorporating some lawn area so we don't have one big hot concrete slab," Yanez said.

Palmer said designers tried to save as many trees as possible including the oak tree near Pleasant Street, but Yanez said the city would have to check to see if that tree, which had been dropping branches, was safe enough to be next to the pool.

For now, the current plan is for the pool construction to go out for bid in July and for construction to start in mid to late August.

The April vote allows the city to collect a 3/4 of a cent sales tax or until the $2,785,000 swimming pool and street improvements near the pool are paid for.

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