Aquatic Center Site Plan

A conceptual site plan for the Coolidge Aquatic Center.

COOLIDGE — Preliminary design work on the new aquatic center set to be built on Northern Avenue is already underway and, following the approval of the City Council, the designs will be finalized over the next few months leading up to the facility’s construction.

The council gave the green light for city staff to enter into an agreement with Haydon Building Corporation and Sunrise Engineering Inc. to design the new aquatic center for reconstruction along Northern Avenue between Arizona Boulevard and Ninth Street.

The contract, for $660,530, covers the development of designs for both the new aquatic facility and significant roadway improvements on Northern Avenue, along with some administrative service fees.

But though the construction of the new aquatic facility and the road improvements will be funded through a $5 million general obligation bond issue that was approved by voters last November, the amount will not cover everything on the wish list the city originally outlined, Parks and Recreation Director Ricky LaPaglia said.

According to LaPaglia, the initial drafted design, which included all the features the department had hoped for, came in over budget. However, Haydon returned with a second design that now comes in under the targeted $5 million amount and incorporates all the water features the Parks and Recreation Department wanted to include in the new facility.

The new design also features a number of cost-saving elements, he noted, including the rehab of the current building, comprised of the lifeguard room, restrooms and an equipment room.

“From day one, we weren’t concerned with (having) any fancy buildings for the lifeguards or for the staff,” LaPaglia said. “We were concerned about having amenities in our pool and a competition pool that is up to the level that we need to (meet) our needs for our swimming team.”

In addition, rather than expand the current pool to make it an eight-lane competition pool, the new design proposes to revamp the current pool into a recreation pool. A separate, eight-lane competition pool would then be constructed adjacent to the water recreation area.

The move, LaPaglia said, will save the city nearly $1 million.

Similar to the conceptual design that was developed when the city first proposed the general obligation bonds in 2019, the recreational pool will include a number of new amenities such as diving boards, a slide, play equipment and other water features.

“We chose to put the majority of our money that we had allotted for this project into the amenities for the community,” LaPaglia said. “That’s how we came into rehabbing the current building and keeping all the amenities in the pool that attract people.”

He noted that the finalized design would be brought before the council for approval at a later date.