Pool plan approved, out for bid next

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By MIKE EDDLEMAN

Liberty Hill residents are now only a bid and a build away from a community swimming pool, after the City Council approved the final plan to be advertised for bid.

The project, planned for City Park on CR 200, broke ground in June 2019, but has been fraught with delays and backtracking since the design first received final approval by the Council early that year.

The final design includes a “kiddie cove” play area for young children with water up to 18 inches deep and a variety of splash-pad type amenities. That portion is divided from the main pool by a short wall. The larger pool area has a tanning shelf on either end, a beach entry, and still includes room for two swim lanes.

There will be a pavilion, and a building with restrooms, office, vending, chemical and other storage space.

In December, the Council approved the sale of $2.56 million in bonds to cover the cost of construction for the Swim Center along with the new downtown Community Center – awarded for construction in October – and renovations at City Hall. The bond has a seven-year note.

The budget and funding, as well as a number of design questions became repeated snags in moving forward with the project after the 2019 City Council election. After the June groundbreaking, then-Mayor Rick Hall said the pool project was stalled over a delay in receiving a grant from Texas Parks and Wildlife for $500,000, and the city’s portion of the necessary funding.

As the Council began discussing the project more last summer, it became clear that with the number of projects ongoing, the funds were no longer available for the pool.

In the Fall, the swim center project budget – to be funded by bonds – was set at $1.8 million, with $1.3 from the bond funds and $500,000 from the Texas Parks and Wildlife grant.

Halff Associates designed the original pool plan as well as the newest design. The most recent redesign cost the City $76,308, but helped trim the cost of the project down to fit the new budget.

A bid was awarded to Jimmy Jacobs Construction in October for the renovation of the former County barn near the intersection of RM 1869 and Loop 332, to create the community center.

The Council heard estimates for the project ranging from $500,000 with potential grant funds to help cover costs back in January, then a higher projection in July of $750,000 with no grant possibilities, the approved bid Tuesday was considerably higher at $858,643.

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