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Aggressive timeline set for pool upgrades at Pine Knoll

Jan. 17, 2013
By Chris Maza


EAST LONGMEADOW — The East Longmeadow Recreation Department received two bids in response to its Request for Qualifications regarding the upgrade of the pool at the Pine Knoll Recreation Area.

The renovation project was approved at the Oct. 1, 2012 Special Town Meeting.

"It's a complete overhaul of the pool itself," Recreation Director Colin Drury said. "This project will not affect the buildings or the locker rooms or anything else besides the pool, but it will include a new filtration system and other necessary improvements."

Mechanical and structural problems cause the pool to lose approximately 4,000 gallons of water a day — compared to the 281 gallons lost by pools in good order, according the Drury — and cost the Department of Public Works 400 man-hours to make temporary repairs. The pool also is not compliant with a new Americans with Disabilities Act regulation passed through the Pool SAFE Act, which requires all public pools to have two handicap access points.

The hope of the Recreation Department is to have an L-shaped pool with a beach entry, which qualifies as handicap accessible, and one handicap lift.

The approved budget for the project is $450,000, which will be initially funded by an interest-only loan that may be converted to a bond if approved at this year's Annual Town Meeting. Both the loan and the bond will be paid off using Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds, including future CPA revenues.

TLB Architecture of Chester, Conn., and Barmann Hendrie + Archetype Inc. of Boston both submitted plans for the much-needed renovation of the outdoor pool, which were delivered to Town Hall approximately two hours before the deadline on Jan. 9.

Included in the packages was the original proposal, five copies, which were to be distributed to the Designer Selection Committee members, an electronic copy and a sealed price proposal.

Members of the Designer Selection Committee will review the proposals and grade them based on criteria provided by Town Administrator Nick Breault. The findings will be shared with the rest of the committee on Jan. 17 and once a consensus on the best proposal is reached the price proposals will be opened.

"After that process, we will make a recommendation to the Board of Selectmen," he said.

Once the committee's selection is approved by the Board of Selectmen, Drury said the intention is to get to work as soon as possible in the hopes of having the project completed by the summer.

"Our timeline is an aggressive one," he said. "We would like to get it done before this season. Obviously there are things that could still happen to prevent that and in that case, the construction wouldn't start until after the summer programs are over."

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