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Architect fees sink indoor pool
Project pulled from expansion of Civic Center
A basic indoor pool had been proposed to be built next to the Civic Center.

The dream of an indoor pool with McMinnville Civic Center renovation ended with a cold splash of financial reality Tuesday night to the tune of $305,000.
“I am shocked,” said city administrator Bill Brock.
The statement was made during a Parks and Recreation Committee meeting when presenting a statement from Hart, Freeland, Roberts Design on what the firm would charge for its architectural services in designing an indoor pool and generating bid documents for it.
“They were going to design the building, basically a manufactured building sitting over a pool, but the pool has to be designed by a pool company,” said Brock. “Just to get this designed and bid out, you are talking $305,000. I am floored. I cannot even start to answer that number for you. I don’t know.”
Officials in attendance shared his disbelief.
“That’s more than they’re charging for the whole Civic Center,” said Alderman Everett Brock.
Officials entered into a contract with HFR Design to spend up to $150,000 for design plans for Civic Center renovation. They are currently considering an additional $118,000 for HFR to generate bid documents on the project.
According to city records, $81,000 has been used of the $150,000 for design plans. If the $118,000 is allocated for bid documents, that would bring the total up to $199,000.
“Yes, that is more than what they are charging for the Civic Center, but they have already done work at the Civic Center before,” said Bill Brock. “They have drawings of it. They have measurements of it. All they have to do is move walls around. They had the bulk of the work on the Civic Center done. All they had to do was use CAD (computer aided design) to generate plans.”
The idea to include an indoor pool in the Civic Center bid package came March 14 at the request of Bobby Kirby, former alderman and local businessman. He expressed a desire for a lap pool – 25 yards by 25 meters – with a pre-engineered building connected to the rear of the Civic Center. He offered estimates of approximately $2 million for the project.
Not having a separate entrance for the pool was discouraged.
“We don’t want people wandering back, using the pool and as kids do sometimes, wander back out here and cause slick floors,” said Bill Brock. “We don’t want to get sued over this and that’s a major problem with indoor pools.”
Bill Brock suggested the city pursue bids on Civic Center renovation without the indoor pool. As a separate project, the indoor pool could be considered later.
“What I’m looking at is this is expensive and it’s expensive through Hart, Freeland, Roberts. I think it’s very expensive and beyond what this board wants to pay. If it’s going to cost that much to design it, it will cost a lot more to build it. At this stage, I would suggest the board go ahead and move on with what you have in front of you and you designate someone to sit down with Mr. Kirby, because he knows some companies that deal with this, and maybe we can get some more realistic numbers, I hope, on this type of project. I just think these numbers are ridiculous.”
Kirby was in attendance. He agreed with the city’s assessment on indoor pool design costs, but requested the city not reject the idea of an indoor pool.
“If you are ready to make a motion to pull this out, will you include in that to definitely let us continue to move forward with an indoor pool?” asked Kirby. “We can definitely get you some new bids and bring it back to you. The indoor pool can be its own project. That price is ridiculous. I think we can bring you back proposals for design.”
Committee members approved hiring HFR at a cost of $118,000 to begin the bid process on the Civic Center project only. That measure must still pass the full Board of Mayor and Aldermen before it’s approved.
The committee also approved further consideration for an indoor pool.