In the leisure pool and continuous river, small portions of surface material have flaked off. The flaws are aesthetic, not structural, said City Administrator Zane Logan.
To fix existing problem areas through spot repairs, it would cost an estimated $8,000-$10,000, said Gary Butts, public services manager. That would entail smoothing out irregularities and repainting.
However, more areas of peeling surface could pop up in the future, so it likely would be a recurring expense to the city. Councilman Eric Paul asked how much it would cost down the road.
“Within five years we’d have to end up sandblasting and painting anyway, which would be about $70,000, we estimate,” Butts told councilmen. “By the time you do the repairs and then the painting and sandblasting, it’s going to be a lot higher than this (the liner).”
Following the staff’s recommendation, councilmen agreed that the PVC liner is the most cost-effective and long-term solution. The new liner comes with a 15-year warranty, and is expected to last up to 25 years, Butts added.
“No sandblasting, no painting, no closing down,” he said.
He added that crews can install the liner during the aquatic center’s scheduled closure for annual maintenance from March 24-April 8.
Repairs also were made to the pool during its closure last year.
The same aesthetic flaw showed up to a much greater degree last year, especially in the facility’s eight-lane pool. Problem portions in the leisure pool and continuous river were individually repaired. Given the extent of peeling surface in the eight-lane pool, the entire surface in that vessel was refinished last spring.
Crews removed all the loose material that peeled off, pressure washed the areas, sandblasted it, ground it down to make a smooth surface and then repainted it. The type of finish that originally caused the peeling problem was not re-applied.
To do the same resurfacing method in the leisure pool and continuous river this year would have cost around $125,000, Butts said, making it too costly.
Sletten Construction of Wyoming, the general contractor for the facility’s construction, covered the cost of last year’s repairs. Sletten completed its commitment with the city regarding the surface repairs last year, Logan said.
This spring’s work will be paid for through the city’s general fund.
“We’ll pull from funds for this year,” Butts said. If the expense can’t be covered in this year’s budget, then city councilmen will consider a budget amendment at the end of the fiscal year in June, he added.
The city received a wide range of bids from three companies. Watco Pools in Billings bid $130,131.
“They don’t typically do these kinds of things, and that’s why their price is so high,” Butts told councilmen.
Natare Corporation followed with $72,788. At just under $40,000, the Aquatic Renovation Systems bid came in by far the lowest.
Butts added that Aquatic Renovation Systems contacted the city with questions and was the most informed bidder of the three.
“They went into this project very confident knowing what they had to do, and that’s why they have the better price,” he said.
Councilman Floyd Young said he talked to people in Idaho who had a PVC liner installed at their pool, “and they absolutely love it.”
“That’s what we’ve heard from pool after pool that have used the liners,”Butts said.