Conceptual rendering of new Coolidge aquatic center

A computer rendering of how the new aquatic center will possibly look.

COOLIDGE — To account for the construction of a new aquatic center that will be built at the current location of the city pool, City Council approved an amended version of the Intergovernmental Agreement between the city of Coolidge and Coolidge Unified School District.

The latest version of the agreement, which was formed in 1986 with the construction of the city pool on CUSD land and extended in 2016, includes a number of changes to the original IGA that accounts for the expansion of the pool and the associated costs of running the larger facility once construction is complete.

The new aquatic center will be financed through a $5 million general obligation bond, which voters approved last year. When the development of the center was initially proposed in April 2019, city officials said they intended to increase the area the current pool encompasses in the construction to include additional amenities for local residents to enjoy.

The expansion will involve extending the perimeter of the facility to an unpaved section of the Coolidge High School property adjoining the location of the current pool.

The updated IGA, Community Services Director Ricky LaPaglia said at Monday’s City Council meeting, accounts for that expansion and also addresses the use of CHS’s adjacent parking lot during the facility’s hours of operation.

In addition, the amended agreement imposes an $18,000 cap on utilities the school district will cover. Utility expenses exceeding the $18,000 mark will be shared by the district and the city.

Under the original IGA, CUSD paid the full cost associated with the pool’s utilities and chemical supplies while the city spearheaded the operation of the pool and covered repair expenses under $5,000.

But the new aquatic center will include two bodies of water as opposed to one, LaPaglia said, with the school district only intending to use one of those — the competition pool — throughout the academic year, leading the district to impose a cap on the amount of utilities it is responsible for.

However, the amended IGA stipulates that the district’s $18,000 limit on utilities will be re-examined and readjusted every three years to account for inflation.

LaPaglia noted that CUSD also requested to be exempt from costs associated with any recreational uses of the pool, which the city agreed to.

The city’s community services and finance departments anticipate that, upon completion of the aquatic center’s construction, operation costs for the city pool will increase by 26%.

Currently, the city allocates just over $85,500 toward the pool. The anticipated budget for the new facility will likely be in the range of $107,700.

Shortly after approving the IGA in a 5-0 vote, with councilmen Jimmy Walker and Steve Hudson absent, council also approved the final contract needed to move forward with the construction of the new aquatic center and roadway improvements along Northern Avenue.

Also approved in a 5-0 vote, the guaranteed maximum price contract between the city and Hayden Building Corporation amounts to a total of $4,257,339.

Council previously approved a pre-construction contract and a design contract for a combined total of about $742,720.

The final contract allocates $4,335,534 for the construction of the aquatic center and $664,466 for roadway reconstruction along Northern Avenue from Arizona Boulevard to 9th street.

But with uncertainty still abounding regarding the state of the irrigation pipes beneath the roadway, there are no guarantees the city will be able to repave the avenue all the way to 9th street this time around.

Improvements along Northern have been contracted with Sunrise Engineering. According to LaPaglia, the contractor’s intention is to fix the irrigation pipes and move them further from the roadway. However, the feasibility of that plan will only be determined after Sunset Engineering examines the pipes.

“They can’t guarantee that they are going to be able to fix that until they get down there to look at it,” he said. “If it’s an easy fix, and they can do it while they are down there, then we’ll make the (adjustments). If not, there (may) be a possibility that the (pipe improvements) will have to happen separately. But we won’t know until we get down there.”

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