During its regular meeting last week, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved a $170,000 agreement with Lose & Associates for the design of a new outdoor pool. Lose & Associates is an architectural firm headquartered in Nashville and was the company that designed the original facility for Kingsport.
Chris McCartt, assistant city manager for administration, has been the point person on the Aquatic Center project since its inception. In an interview with the Times-News, McCartt gave an overview of the expansion and the cost and projected opening date of the new pool.
The new facility will be located at the front of the building, in what is now just a grassy area. It will be a 25-yard pool with depths ranging from four to six feet. Three lanes will be for lap swimming, with the remaining space being amoeba-shaped for general recreation, McCartt said.
Folks can also expect to take swim lessons and outdoor aerobics in the new pool as well.
According to the Aquatic Center’s master plan, a splash pad was originally slated to go in that space, but due to customer requests, the city decided to go with an outdoor pool, McCartt said.
“About every five years, you need to do something (to the facility). It could be something fairly substantial or something as simple as changing out features,” McCartt said, noting the recent additions of the indoor inflatable and rock climbing walls. “Our goal is to always be adding something new.”
Along with the new pool, the project calls for an expansion of the outdoor pool house. McCartt said the idea is to create an outdoor pavilion with picnic tables adjacent to the pool house and to add some restrooms and a walk-in freezer for the concession stand.
Fencing will be erected around the new outdoor pool, while a small office will be built near the existing party room at the front of the building.
“Our staff is scattered throughout the building and it’s rather inefficient,” McCartt said.
Cost and timeline
The estimated cost of the expansion is $2 million, though that number could change as the architect goes through the design phase. The money for the expansion will be earmarked in next year’s capital improvement plan and funded through a bond issuance next fall.
McCartt said the plan is to start construction in September or October of 2018 and finish by May 2019, just before the outdoor facility opens for the summer season.