Pool proposals to be reviewed

Chad Frey
It is likely that the Newton Municipal Pool has seen its final season, with a project to replace the facility taking its next steps next week.

A project to construct a new municipal pool will take the next step forward at 6 p.m. Aug. 25.

The Newton Recreation Commission and Newton City Commission will host a joint special meeting to receive a committee recommendation to select a design/build team for the project.

The project is several years in the making, stemming from the Newton Recreation Commission expressing concern over the state of the pool’s equipment and the pool itself more than three years ago.

The city has allowed for some minor repair as the commission wrestled with what to do with the pool.

“We have gotten to the point that there is no way we can open the pool next spring,” said Suzanne Loomis, director of public works for the city of Newton. “We would have to invest dollars in some of the things we have delayed. ... Those are large costs.”

In July, the city commission chose to move forward with a $3,042,000 project for both the reconfiguration of Centennial Park and a new municipal pool facility. About $2.1 million is for the pool project.

The city is working with Newton USD 373 to try and secure funding for the project through the Public Building Commission.

The city chose to send request for proposals to companies for a design/build process for the pool project in July. The requests were due back Aug. 18. Those proposals were reviewed by a city staff and incoming mayor Richard Stinnett before being brought to the commission.

Included in the request is a facility including spray features for younger children, shade structures, climbing walls, inflatables, diving boards, a new slide and a lazy river.

The RFP specifies that the new pool will be constructed at the location of the current Municipal Pool at Athletic Park, with the current bath house staying in place and being renovated.

The city commission will host a regular business meeting at 7 p.m. that day. On the agenda are agreements with the railroad for a location to build a water tank, a wastewater agreement with North Newton, a grant for the purchase of body cameras for law enforcement, airport improvements, sidewalk ordinance and future tax abatements.