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Tualatin Pool remodel likely to cost more than expected - a lot more

Board mulls options after construction bids come in at more than double estimated price.

This story has been updated from its original version.

TIMES FILE PHOTO - A makeover of the Tualatin Public Pool's front entryway will likely have to wait until at least fall. The board of directors is looking at a phased remodel of the pool after contractor bids came in well above what was budgeted.The board of directors for the Tigard Tualatin Aquatic District held an emergency meeting Thursday morning at the Tualatin Public Pool after contractor bids for a remodeling project came in at more than twice the budgeted amount.

The district wants to renovate parts of the pool facility, moving the main entry door north to make it easier for office staff to monitor who is entering and exiting the building and making over the women's locker room to add a unisex bathroom and provide a separate walkway so that guests can access the pool area without having to go through a locker room.

Board Chairwoman Kathy Stallkamp said about $176,000 was budgeted for the total remodel. Instead, all of the bids for each phase of the remodel — the entryway and the locker room — came in well above $200,000 apiece.

The quotes are “way, way over our pre-bid estimates,” said aquatic director Mike Branam.

The three board members present at Thursday's emergency meeting agreed they still want to get some of the work done this spring. The pool is scheduled to close for maintenance sometime late this month, although it will remain open for early-morning lap swim, and Branam and the board members agreed that time will be a good opportunity for remodeling work to be done without further disruption for pool users.

Branam said he wants to prioritize the locker room work. He and Kitty Ferrasci-O'Malley, who works in the front office at the Tualatin Pool, said they frequently receive complaints from parents uncomfortable about having to take their children through the opposite-sex locker room to get to the pool, as well as from adults who don't like having children of the other gender around when they are changing.

“Bringing children, small children, through the locker rooms is a big issue at the pools every year,” Branam said. Having a separate walkway would resolve that issue, he added.

However, the Tigard Public Pool has a similar setup to the current situation in Tualatin, Stallkamp noted.

“If we're saying that that's a high priority, it has to be a priority at both pools,” she said. “Tigard's going to be a bigger challenge.”

Branam agreed similar work will need to be prioritized for the Tigard Pool as well.

Both public pools are leased from the Tigard-Tualatin School District and located on the campuses of the district's two high schools. The pools are often used for classes during the school year.

While Branam pointed out a number of smaller projects that can be scaled down or deferred to free up funds the Tualatin Pool remodel and Stallkamp said there is room in the budget, the projected costs to the aquatic district are mounting.

The board members reluctantly agreed to put off the entryway remodel for the time being, with Stallkamp saying she remains concerned about building security.

“I'm putting a lot of trust and faith in your experience,” board member Jeff Miller told Branam. “From what you're telling me, I can see how the bathrooms would be a priority.”

But, Miller added, “Come July, we better be talking about the next phase for fall.”

The low bidder on the locker room phase of the remodel was Cedar Mill Construction Co., which is based locally in Tualatin. Cedar Mill estimated it can do that work for $232,800. But Stallkamp suggested the district could reach out to two contractors who declined to bid to see if they would be willing to do just that part of the job for less.

Branam is expected to present the board with options at its regular meeting next Wednesday at 6 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Tigard Pool, 8680 S.W. Durham Rd.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story mischaracterized Cedar Mill Construction as the low bidder on both the locker room and entryway work. It was the overall low bidder, but it was not the low bidder on the entryway portion of the project, according to the aquatic district. The story has been updated.

By Mark Miller
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