The City Council has approved expansion of the city recreation complex at Sixth North and First West, and work should begin soon.
The major effort will involve expansion of the decking area around the pool and installation of a new bubble over the pool. An indoor storage area will be built for the backup generator to prevent another failure like the one in 1987 that led to the loss of the last bubble to high winds.The new bubble will be mostly paid for from an insurance settlement on the last bubble. The remainder of the financing will come from the city's recreation enterprise fund and capital improvement fund.
In addition to the deckwork, which will expand the area available to sunbathers during the summer when the bubble is in storage, the project will involve four additional racquetball courts, additional locker rooms, two additional hockey dressing rooms and expansion of the snack bar, lobby and office areas. The project will also involve construction of about 70 additional parking spaces.
Preliminary cost estimates are $695,000. The council has directed that deck work begin immediately, and it will go to bid soon. The council wants to review finished plans before the remainder of the project is put out for bids. Officials hope to have the deckwork completed this spring so that the outdoor pool can be opened this summer.
The council has agreed to look at adding an Olympic-sized ice rink to the facility but says any such project is well in the future. Officials noted that bonding would be needed to finance that project and officials want to be sure there is sufficient demand to make such a facility feasible before moving ahead with plans.