McMinnville officials are voicing discontent for preliminary plans that have an indoor lap pool estimated as much as $7.5 million.
Alderman Everett Brock, chair of the city’s Finance Committee, says the city was serious in considering an indoor pool.
“Back a year or so ago when everybody came up here talking about the swimming pool and we said we would look at the swimming pool, I don’t think any of us did it with a wink and a nod,” said Brock. “I think we were serious that we would look at it. I think we’ve continued on with that. I, personally, think we should continue to look at the swimming pool.”
Pool advocates asked officials to consider an indoor pool with renovation of McMinnville Civic Center. Two of those, Bobby Kirby and Paige Northcutt, suggested a 25-meter by 25-yard lap pool with a pre-engineered building to enclose it at an estimated cost of $2 million.
The city hired Griggs & Maloney Engineering to produce an architectural rendering and concept floor plan. As presented by Ryan Maloney, the indoor facility would have had a 6,400-square-foot lap pool (25 meters by 25 yards) with 10 lanes, a five-foot deep therapeutic pool, lockers, a wet party room, concessions, office, storage space, and a lobby.
In his presentation, Maloney referred to the indoor facility as “the Cadillac” when it comes to a competition indoor aquatics center. He estimated the cost could be between $5 million to $7.5 million.
Brock says that cost is financially unrealistic.
“One of the things we need to do, if we can’t find a $2 million pool, is to find the cheapest one we can get. I’ve talked to Paige and she’s willing to get the people who originally talked about the $2 million pool. They are now saying $3 million to maybe $3.5 million, but that’s still better than what we saw as a presentation the other day for an $8 million pool.”
Alderman Steve Harvey stated, “That’s way better.”
“We need to get those folks in here and let them give us a presentation,” said Brock, of whomever gave a $2 million estimate. “I was serious about the pool then and I’m serious about it now. I think everybody is serious about giving them a chance. Let’s not walk away from this. Regardless of what some people thought, not having it included in the Civic Center renovation project is not going to kill the pool. It just can’t be an $8 million pool.”