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May 06, 2010 3:21 am

Aquatic Center to open in May

Written by Tribune Staff

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Carrie Parmer, city of Powell aquatics director, talks with Dusty Wentz of Colorado Timing Systems Wednesday morning. Wentz was completing the timing equipment for competition lanes. Sletten Construction crews and subcontractors are working to complete the $10-million center in early May. Tribune photo by Carla Wensky

Total project cost estimated at $10.3 million

Water is streaming through the continuous river. Rules of the pool are posted on the wall. And, soon, swimmers will be diving into the Powell Aquatic Center.

This week, crews are finishing construction at the nearly-complete center, prepping for a May opening.

“It absolutely is on track for a May 3 substantial completion,” said Nancy Ronto, the project manager with Burbach Aquatics.

At that point, the city of Powell staff can occupy the center and begin using the pools for training. Upon approval of final tests and completion of last-minute details, the Powell Aquatic Center is slated to open to swimmers in mid-May.

Inspections with Burbach Aquatics, the state fire marshal and Wyoming Health Department are scheduled for this week.

“It's really coming together,” said Carrie Parmer, aquatics director. “I feel confident that we'll get there.”

The leisure pool was filled with water on Friday, and the 12-foot deep, eight-lane pool was filled Saturday.

An end-of-school party is on tap for May 27, and swimming lessons and classes likely will start in early June. The first week of the pool's opening will be for members only, Parmer said.

A grand opening party is slated for June.

An annual adult membership costs $175, and senior memberships are available at a discount rate of $125. Daily admission is $4 for adults and $3 for youth and seniors. The pool is scheduled to be open from 5:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. on weekdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturdays and 1-6 p.m. Sundays.

The estimated total cost of the aquatic center's construction is about $10.3 million, said City Finance Director Annette Thorington.

That includes $7.9 million for the construction of the facility, about $1.3 million in engineering and design fees for Burbach Aquatics and roughly $1 million in hard costs for infrastructure that the city of Powell is completing.

Voters approved a capital-facilities tax in 2006 that provided $7 million for the pool's construction and more than $1 million in overages. The project also is funded through a State Loan and Investment Board grant and contributions from the Moyer Foundation, the Powell Recreation District, Park County Recreation District and Park County School District No. 1.

The school district also donated some material from the old Powell High School pool.

“We recycled the old lockers from the school pool, and I think they look great,” Parmer said.

Sletten Construction, the project's general contractor, began construction in the fall of 2008. Work was delayed in the spring of 2009 after a problem with aggregate used in the foundation.

Excavation has started for the parking lot, and crews will work on it this spring. Work on the center's landscaping and irrigation system also will be completed.

Parmer said she is instructing newly-hired lifeguards this week, and she hopes to use the new pool next week for in-water training exercises.

Former Powell High School swimmer Angela Wilson was hired as the aquatics coordinator and Justin Gillenwater is the center's head lifeguard.

The city has hired 14 lifeguards and also will employ seven concession workers and four front-desk staff members.

“We could still use a few more lifeguards, but I'm hoping more will apply when school gets out,” Parmer said.

Ronto said there still are last-minute details to complete before the pool opens to swimmers, but she said everything is on track for May.

“We're anticipating a wonderful opening,” she said.

For more information, visit www.powellaquatics.com.