Remodeling of aquatic center to begin

The Forks Aquatic Center is soon to be reopened as the Quillayute Aquatic Recreation Center.

The Quillayute Valley Parks and Recreation Board (QVPRB) is soliciting bids for remodeling the Quillayute Valley Aquatic Center, which adjoins the Forks Community Center on a plot of land located along Division Street. Plans call for reopening the lap pool section, and adding a fitness center in place of the water park section of the pool building.

The fitness center is to be run by Charlotte Wedrick, who currently manages the Health First Fitness Center located on South Forks Avenue. Wedrick described her vision for opening a fitness center in the pool building at a community meeting held in 2010.

The two facilities will be separated by a floor to ceiling partition.

QVPRB Chair Nedra Reed said of the reopening, “hopefully we’ll have a successful project open and running by the middle of September.”

She sees the new facility as “marriage between Health First and the Quillayute Valley Park and Recreation Board.”

“This is a good example of a public-private partnership which will serve the community well,” Reed said, that will “take a building in mothballs, and gradually deteriorating for a number of years, and turn it into a usable facility for the community.”

Reed said the reopened pool will be fitness oriented, with accommodations to be made for bathers seeking to use the pool for health services. For West End youth swimming lessons will be given, she said, adding that Wedrick has a swimming instructor lined up.

Bids for the remodeling and retrofitting work are due in by 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 16. A bid opening is scheduled to immediately follow the deadline.

Jerry Schlie Design, Inc. of Beaver is providing architectural services for the project.  
Reed said construction is slated to begin soon after the bid opening. She said contractors are already expressing interest in bidding on the project.

The existing water park area of the pool building will be covered with a removable floor. Schlie’s plans for the remodel and retrofit call for the water park area to be filled in with a gravel mix, then a concrete slurry slab will be placed on top of the gravel, then a removable floor will be laid on top of the concrete.

Reed said the flooring work is reversible, and that it will be possible to reopen the entire pool if that option becomes viable in the future. The pool opened in 2005, but was closed in 2007 due to the high cost of heating the pool and a lower then expected flow of revenue from pool users. Votes who earlier approved a $2.9 million bond issue to build the facility voted down a tax levy plan in 2006 that would have funded operational costs.

Discussions on plans to reopen the pool building have been held since the closing to put the building back into operation, but the QVPRB plan is the first to move ahead with actual reopening work.
Funding is coming from capital improvement, non-operational, funds that have been in the QVPRB account since the pool building was constructed in 2005. The funds come from the QVPRB bond issue that paid for the construction of the facility.

Reed said the QVPRB is also working on other concepts to bring income generating activities to the remodeled pool-fitness center.
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