$767,676 bid gets pool project rolling

Friday, January 24, 2020

A little more than four months from the scheduled opening of the Greencastle Aquatic Center for 2020, the Park Board Thursday approved a three-quarters of a million-dollar bid for Phase One of the $1.6 million renovation project.

The board unanimously approved a $767,676 bid from Graves Construction Services, Switz City, to remove the existing slide and replace it with three new slides, along with the associated pumps and piping.

The Graves bid was one of five received by the city for the work. Project manager Kyle Lueken of HWC Engineering recommended the Graves bid, noting that the combined low bid (base bid of $616,161 and $151,515 for the alternate drop slide) “was slightly higher than engineers’ estimates of $734,000.”

“We understand funds are limited,” Lueken’s report continued, “but that the city is able to move forward with both the base bid and the alternate.”

Other firms bidding on the project and their combined base and alternate bids were:

-- Mattcon General Contractors, Indianapolis, $802,000.

--- CDI Inc., Terre Haute, $880,000.

-- Junglaus-Campbell Co., Indianapolis, $927,000.

-- RL Turner Corp., Zionsville, $970,000.

Lueken said HWC has previously worked with Graves on projects other than aquatic centers. He said they did wastewater work at Brazil and a lift station at West Lafayette.

With the Park Board unanimously approving the Graves’ bid on a motion by John Hennette and a second from Cathy Merrell, Lueken said the paperwork, including a notice to proceed, will be sent to Graves.

“Then we turn them loose,” he said, noting that the old slide needs to come down to get the process of renovation rolling.

The contract notes that Graves should be done with in-the-pool work by May 4 and have all work completed by July 3.

“That way we can get the pool full of water,” Assistant Director Chrysta Snellenberger said, noting that it takes two weeks of good water samples approved by the State Board of Health before the pool can open.

And what if Graves is unable to meet those deadlines, Lueken was asked.

“There are liquidated damages of $500 per day” if deadlines are not met, he said.

Phase 2 of the project, which includes bathhouse renovation, making the zero-depth end of the pool complaint with the Americans with Disabilities ACT (ADA) and construction of some play structures in that shallow end, will come once the 2020 season ends, Snellenberger said.

In other business at the special meeting at City Hall, Putnam County Comprehensive Service (PCCS) Executive Director Andrew Ranck advised the board he wants to continue the relationship with the park that was started last summer.

That involved PCCS operating the concession stand at the pool, including ordering and pricing. Ranck would also like to continue the relationship that saw three PCCS clients doing maintenance work for the Park Department at Robe-Ann Park last summer.

”Same thing, different year,” Ranck said of the concession stand operations that saw PCCS lose $460 for the summer.

Since PCCS also uses the experience as training for its clients, losing that little made it a winning effort, Ranck said.

“I expected more loss,” he said, noting that the summer was plagued by bad weather that either kept the pool from opening or closed it early.

He did stress that the concession stand would basically feature the same offerings as last summer, which means no fried foods like french fries.

“We’re not interested in doing that,” Ranck said, “so if that’s deal breaker ...”

No one raised objections then, although later in the meeting board members agreed that they were repeatedly asked about the unavailability of french fries last summer.

“I must have had 60 people ask me about it,” Park Board President Tim Trigg said.

The city contracted with PCCS to run the concession stand last summer after incurring big losses the previous year.

The maintenance relationship is something Park Director Rod Weinschenk, who was absent Thursday night, wants to look into modifying, Snellenberger said.

Of the three PCCS workers who did maintenance last summer, the city would like to hire one as a part-timer in the maintenance area and even as part of the mowing crew.

Ranck was in enthusiastic support of that.

“If you take him on,” he said, “we achieve a goal we set out to do in the first place.”

Ranck indicated he would make a formal presentation to the board at its February meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6

Meanwhile, following up on a discussion about lifeguards’ pay that came up at the January City Council meeting, Snellenberger presented a proposed pay structure for pool employees.

She said the recommendation will be to start first-year guards at $9.50 an hour, rising to $10 the second year and $11 the third. An additional $1 an hour would be added to those holding a Water Safety Instructor (WSI) certification.

She also raised the idea of hiring “shallow-end guards” with no WSI certification and also using them or front desk personnel to man the top of the slides.

“We’re not really paying a lifeguard to stand up on the slide,” Snellenberger said. “They can’t do anything up there anyway.”

Front desk personnel at the pool would start at $8 an hour under the proposal.

The assistant director also provided Park Board members with a list of starting wages for summer help at local and area businesses and pools. It has been noted in recent discussions that the park and pool are competing with summer help at some of the local factories, including Walmart Distribution and Ascena, who pay significantly better than the city.

No action was taken on the salary structure.

Snellenberger was joined for the 45-minute special session by Park Maintenance Supervisor David Bault and Park Board members Trigg, Hennette and Merrell. Joanna Muncie was absent.

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