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Pool plans pared to fit smaller budget

"It was back to the drawing board, literally, for the island's new pool.The result of which is that the facility has been redesigned, in hopes of knocking $1 million off the price tag without compromising its attractions.The new design preserves 99 percent of the aquatic experience for the average visitor, said Dave Lewis, director of the Bainbridge Island Park and Recreation District.Initial construction bids for $5 million project last month came in well over budget. Park board commissioners rejected all four bids, and directed the district's design team to rework the project and pare out what they could.The project team - Lewis, consultant John Hartsock and pool manager John DeMeyer - hope to see savings in several areas:l Specifications have been clarified. Lewis said some items appeared more than once in the bids, suggesting that the bidders were confused.l Non-aquatic components have been dropped. The meeting rooms may have to be postponed, Lewis said.l The finishing work has been dropped from the specifications, and made into more of a do-it-yourself project. We have a good idea how much the finishing work will cost, Lewis said. We have dropped that from the package, and will contract for that separately.l Some backup systems have been eliminated. There will still be two play structures - jungle-gym-like devices that spray water from a variety of openings - but they will be served by only one compressor. If the compressor goes down, the play structures will be out of commission, whereas under the old design, one would still work, Lewis said.Still, Lewis said, A person stepping into the pool and paying would never know the difference between the present and prior designs.The unresolved question is whether the changes will cut costs enough.We met with the contractors and got their suggestions, Lewis said. And they have told us that the changes will produce 'substantial' reductions. But they won't go so far as to commit that they can submit a bid within our budget.The bids submitted on April 12 ranged from $5.169 million to $5.686 million for the new pool, which will be built immediately to the north of the existing pool, with the two facilities sharing what is now the north wall. Those were construction numbers. Furnishings, architectural fees and permits add a projected $1 million to the total.Bainbridge voters approved a $4.5 million bond issue, and the park district envisions raising roughly another half million through voluntary contributions, making the total budget $5 million and change - a million or so less than the initial bids.The invitations to re-bid will be advertised for the next two weeks. Lewis said he hopes bids can be opened on June 1 at a special meeting of the commissioners. If one or more bids is acceptable, Lewis said the contract could be awarded as early as June 8. "

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