Volume 16, Number 2
In a five-minute special meeting Tuesday evening, the Wake Forest town commissioners approved a contract of $2,809,000 with Harrod & Associates of Raleigh to demolish the existing Holding Park Pool and construct the planned pool complex in its place.
The good news is that the bid – and the other submitted bid – was well below the estimated cost of $3.1 million. And Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Director Ruben Wall said the plan still is to open on Memorial Day next year.
“That’s fantastic,” Mayor Vivian Jones said about the lower bid amounts. There was only one bid early in August and under state law the town had to ask for bids again, resulting in two bidders.
Town Manager Kip Padgett, acting cautiously, said he would ask that the loan amount from BB&T would be $2.9 million. Wednesday Chief Financial Officer Aileen Staples said the loan amount had been modified and the Local Government Commission will consider the loan on Sept. 12. It is expected the commission will approve the loan amount.
In a letter to the town recommending approval of the Harrod & Associates bid, Mark C. Hatchel, vice president of Kimley Horn, the firm which designed the new pool complex and is overseeing the construction, said, “The average amount of the two bids was approximately $2.85 M. Harrod & Associates omitted Item #4 (Allowance) from their bid. However, with or without the allowance included, Harrod & Associates was the low bidder at $2,809,000. Both contractors listed Natural Structures as the pool slide equipment supplier and Augusta Aquatics as the pool builder. Augusta Aquatics was the pool builder on a similar project that we designed in Columbia, SC that opened in May 2016.”
The time table for the pool construction has been pushed back several times for different reasons. In early May, Wall told the town board he planned to have the final plans and would be able to advertise bids on May 15. That date slipped because of the addition of the pump house as did the date of July 15 for construction to begin. The plan currently is for construction to begin in September or October to meet the completion date in late May of 2018.
The pool project now includes a new pump house that was added to the project in May after Wall made a presentation to the town board about the size (too small for the needed new equipment) and the condition of the pump house, which was built in 1977-78 when the pool was totally rebuilt. The original pool was built in 1942, a joint project of the town and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) which included construction of the Community House.
When complete next year, Holding Park Pool will have three water features – a six-lane lap pool, a plunge pool with slides and a children’s activity pool – along with small and large umbrella tables and seating.
The existing stone platform and stairs will remain as will the existing concession stand and bathhouse under the Community House.
The Holding Park Pool has been closed for two summers because serious problems with the pool lining were discovered in the spring of 2016 as the pool was being readied for the summer season.
In 2014, the town spent $750,000 to have the pool lining repainted and some leaks fixed in addition to a new epoxy floor on the deck.
Holding Park is named for Dr. Solomon Holding whose large house stood on the present park site, facing South Main Street. Dr. Holding was the sixth son of Willis Holding and Nancy Pace Holding, born in 1871. He died in 1951. After his death the family donated the land where the house stood to the town. The park consists of that land along with a small amount of land donated by Zua Davis, whose brick house still stands next to the park.
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As for the second water feature planned for Wake Forest, Wall said this week the sprayground at the Taylor Street Park “has not been released to the town. There are a few items to address to pass the final inspection.” Wake County, which provided the bulk of the funding for the sprayground, is in charge of its construction.