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Geothermal system could be used for Civic Center addition
Civic Center.jpg
McMinnville Civic Center

The unfulfilled dream of an indoor pool could be used to save $46,234 on a $10 million expansion of McMinnville Civic Center.

City officials approved installation of a geothermal system for heating and cooling the Civic Center in 2008 at a cost of almost $1.3 million. At that time, they also discussed the possibility of an indoor pool. A larger geothermal system was installed to accommodate that future project. 

However, the dream of an indoor pool was never made a reality and consideration is now being given to using that portion of the geothermal system to heat and cool the facility’s expansion as a cost-saving measure. 

The city’s Ad Hoc Committee gave initial approval on Tuesday.

“The original geothermal was sized to accommodate a future pool,” said HFR project manager Kris Teubel. “We studied everything and found that the flow for the new addition was less than what the future pool would have been. You could use the existing geothermal system as-is without any modification today. If you wanted to build a pool in the future, then you would have to, at that point, make modifications to the geothermal system to accommodate that addition.” 

It was asked if geothermal would be the best system for heating an indoor pool and Teubel indicated it would not.

Teubel said it’s not practical to use a geothermal system to heat water for an indoor pool and that using the system on the Civic Center addition would provide the city more energy savings.

CHC Mechanical Contractors is overseeing the heating and cooling aspect of the addition. According to CHC project manager William Jenson, using the existing geothermal would save $46,234.

With Ad Hoc Committee member approval, the measure will be sent to the full Board of Mayor and Aldermen for consideration. Its next session is Oct. 22 at 7 p.m.