April 09, 2020

Millinocket council approves downsized pool

MILLINOCKET – Construction on a new outdoor community pool could begin in as little as two weeks, with a targeted opening date of summer 2007, now that the Town Council has approved a downsized project that should fall within its $1.2 million to $1.4 million price range.

The council voted 4-3 in favor of a smaller pool and 6-1 Thursday night to start construction as soon as possible.

The new pool is about 930 square feet smaller in surface area than the original pool design and about $163,000 less expensive to build, councilors said.

However, the savings is a tentative estimate certain to be cut into by the eventual hiring of a construction manager, which could cost $75,000 to $150,000, said Robert E. Guarino, president of South Shore Gunite Pool & Spa Inc., the Chelmsford, Mass., construction company that will build the pool.

South Shore has built pools for the University of Maine at Orono and Presque Isle and at several YMCAs around the state. The company needs about two weeks to draft blueprints and arrange to begin the work, Guarino said.

“Once we have it on the docket, the project will move a lot faster,” Guarino said Thursday. “I’m ecstatic. I like being in Maine.”

Working with Civil Engineering Services Inc. of Brewer and Arcadia Designworks LLC of Portland, councilors saved as much as $63,000 by folding the pool’s separated diving area into its proposed four racing lane area.

Another $100,000 was saved from the original cost estimate by using gunite instead of cement.

The outdoor pool’s conceptual designs feature four racing lanes, a toddler wading area with safety rails, a mushroom fountain that sprays water, two diving boards, sloping sides and depths and a large slide.

Other touches include a gently curved roof with sunroof, a bathhouse with changing rooms and a large grass strip suitable for sunbathing or light outdoor recreation.

The pool will be located amid the town recreation complex near Stearns High School.

Proper management of the racing lanes and diving boards will allow proper use of both, Recreation Department Director Frank Clukey said. Councilor Wallace Paul was pleased with the alterations.

“The smaller design gives us everything that the larger pool does,” Paul said. “I found the original size very exciting … but this design does everything the larger pool does with a little bit less pizzazz.”

Councilor David Cyr, a cement contractor, was satisfied that the council had done its best to control project costs.

Councilor Bruce McLean, who voted against proceeding, said, “We are kind of kidding ourselves as to what this will cost us” because estimates were so tentative.

McLean approved of building a pool in two or three years, concentrating now on revitalizing Jerry Pond and doing maintenance on town hall.

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