The New Hope City Council favored moving forward with Civic Center Park and Milton C. Honsey pool plans throughout the summer but council members expressed hope that city staff members can reduce the price.
“We wanted that new pool complex to be a destination,” said Parks and Recreation Director Susan Rader. “We realized that’s a little bit over our budget, so we’re still looking to make adjustments for that.”
Rader will take the council’s feedback to the next park and pool committee meetings June 5 to discuss and refine.
An open house is June 27 to gain resident feedback on the pool and park options.
Stantec, the city’s engineering consultant, provided two options for review May 15 of the outdoor pool and three layouts for the park.
Each option will require soil correction, but it is easier and less expensive to perform spotted soil correction for the city pool than for one large building, according to City Engineer Chris Long.
Pool option 1A includes a mechanical building and bathhouse, concessions deck, shallow water recreation pool, 25-yard six-lane competition pool, shallow water play features, a climbing wall, chaise lounge seating, deep water diving well with 1- and 3-meter diving boards, one tube slide and two body slides, a lazy river and various sun turf locations. Pool capacity would be 1,200 people. This option is estimated to cost as much as $10.44 million.
Pool Option 3A has a smaller footprint and includes a mechanical building and bath house, shallow water recreation pool, concessions deck, deep water diving well with 1- and 3-meter diving boards, a 25-yard six-lane competition pool, body slides, a climbing wall, chaise lounge seating, a current channel, shallow water play features, basketball hoops and various sun turf locations. This option is estimated to cost up to $9.23 million.
Mayor Kathi Hemken questioned what could be done to lower the budget.
According to Long, to reduce the budget, amenities must be removed or pools must be smaller.
“We’re trying to find that pool or that amenity that people want to come to,” Rader said. “We don’t want to end up with less than we already have. We’re trying to find that mix of a great complex but trying to be much closer to the budget.”
Councilmember Eric Lammle wondered if certain amenities could be phased in later.
Rader had reservations about that idea.
“We all know what the park infrastructure fund looks like and we don’t have a lot of excess dollars in there,” she said. “I don’t want to put too much emphasis on phasing because it may never happen.”
More discussions about the pool are expected to be forthcoming.
“I think we’re all in agreement we want the best we can get for the $8.5 million,” Rader said. “It’s the struggle to scale back and feel like we’re getting what we want.”
Much of the Civic Center Park improvements are dependent on the size and location of the new city pool.
“We really tried to maintain, what didn’t have to move, didn’t move,” Rader said.
Stantec drafted three layouts for the council to review based on pool option 3A.
In layout one, the city’s ice rink is located north of the pool, with the skate pad directly west of the rink. The outdoor theater is relocated to the west of the property, near Zealand Avenue. The playground equipment, swings and basketball, volleyball and tennis courts remain in the same location.
This concept is estimated to cost $1.74 million.
In layout two, the outdoor theater is located in the northwest corner of the property with the skate pad and ice rink directly south. The play equipment and sports courts remain in the same location. This concept is estimated to cost $1.59 million.
In layout three, the ice rink is located north of the pool, the theater is located directly west of the pool and the skate pad is located north of the play equipment. The play equipment and sports courts remain in the same location. This concept is estimated to cost $1.68 million.
“Of the three options, option three kind of jumps out the most to me,” said Lammle said.
“I like option three but, quite frankly, the skating rink and dog park are a lot of money and we could do that later,” she said.
The project remains in the early stages, with many future opportunities for public feedback.
Visit ci.new-hope.mn.us for more information.
Contact Gina Purcell at [email protected]