Tuesday, January 16, 2007

City of Fairfield considers a 'water park-type' community pool

January 14, 2007

A 'water park-type' community pool

City Council to view Allan Witt Park plans at Tuesday meeting

By Ben Antonius

FAIRFIELD - More than three years have passed since Fairfield's only public pool closed and the cost of a replacement has swelled by $7 million, but progress may be made Tuesday when the city unveils its latest design.

The City Council will hear a presentation on the background of the 2003 closure of Allan Witt Park pool, the subsequent process to come up with a replacement and the proposed design of the new pool.

The council will also take a look at a veritable menu of features such as spas, recreational waterfalls and lap lanes they can add to the project - for a price.

If it is approved in its current form, the pool would look less like the rectangular community pools of old and more like a water park.

"In the past . . . pools were built with little entertainment value," wrote Community Services Director John De Lorenzo in his report. "Today's users are looking for excitement, imaginative play opportunities and reasons to remain at the complex for multiple hours."

As designed, the park has a pair of waterslides, a wet play area with water toys, a playground set in ankle-deep water and an all-season glass enclosure around the main pool.

Of course, none of that comes cheap.

The glass enclosure costs $1.4 million and the playground and the wet play area were only added when the city secured a $1.7 million grant. The sampler of optional features includes a spa ($600,000), lazy river ($1.2 million), waterfall ($120,000) and a three-meter diving board ($1.3 million with a 1,200 square-foot pool).

The plans only call for three lap lanes, although De Lorenzo suggested lap swimmers could still go to the pools at Solano Community College and Fairfield and Armijo high schools.

"Our indoor/outdoor activity pool has been designed with the maximum fun factor in mind," he wrote.

The price tag for the project has gone up substantially from the initial $4.9 million estimate, both because plans have expanded and because construction costs have risen while the project idled.

The meeting is a follow-up to a Dec. 5, 2006, discussion when the council declined to vote on the glass enclosure and asked to see more details about the other features they could have at the park.

The glass building would allow the main pool to be used year-round, has retracting ceiling panels for use in favorable weather and is designed to reduce corrosion and condensation problems.

Reach Ben Antonius at 427-6977 or bantonius@dailyrepublic.net.

At a glance

Who: Fairfield City Council

What: Topics include a discussion of the $12.3 million Allan Witt Park pool project.

When: 7 p.m. on Tuesday

Where: Fairfield City Council chamber

Info: 428-7400

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