Parks and Recreation Board approves pool design, bleacher repairs
October 16, 2022
In a special meeting Wednesday, the Alva Parks and Recreation Board discussed problems with recent building repairs at the Recreation Complex. The board changed from quarterly to monthly meetings due to their new responsibilities including the swimming pool and Alva parks. The agenda also included repairs to the fieldhouse retractable bleachers and signing off on architectural plans for the pool and pool bathhouse.
In the absence of the chairman, Dr. Troy Smith, Shane Hansen presided over the meeting. Smith arrived later, having been delayed at his office. Other board members present were Gregg Glass, Matt Tucker, Brandon Sherman and Gail Swallow. Chad Fisher was absent. Others attending were Parks and Recreation Director Courtney Nesseralla, Assistant Director Tatum Lehl, Mayor Kelly Parker and Dr. Kay Decker.
Nesseralla fielded some questions about the financial report. With Crawford and Associates now handling the city financials, the reports are in a different format. Nesseralla said she has some questions for OG&E about their bills. Just three months into the fiscal year, the electric bills total about $20,000 while the year's budget is for $45,000. Nesseralla said the bill for baseball field lighting is a lot more than for the softball field lighting, but the softball fields are used a lot more.
Glass commented that the lighting is probably not LED which would draw less electricity. Mayor Parker said the city is looking at an LED conversion for all city facilities, possibly using an OG&E grant.
Building Repair Problems
Nesseralla reported Tier I is scheduled to be at the Recreation Complex Monday and would be working every day until 4 p.m. The early cutoff is to allow for use of the fieldhouse by sports teams. Last month, she reported numerous problems with Tier I's work including insulation that was drooping from the gym ceiling.
Glass asked the engineering firm, Myers Engineering, was supposed to inspect the work. "Somebody needs to have oversight," he said.
Parker said he wasn't familiar with the contract and didn't know if that was included. He said he would check with Bill Myers. Even if it is not in the contract, it might be possible to arrange for someone to "do a punch list" to inspect and sign off work. He added that the city hasn't signed off on the work done on the fieldhouse and Tier I has not been paid.
Nesseralla said 38 teams have signed up for competitive basketball, the biggest number since 2014. They are near capacity with a limit of 40 teams. The out of town teams are from the usual places like Anthony and Harper, Kansas, as well as Enid and Kremlin and other towns. She said more teams are coming from those locations.
The deadline for co-ed adult volleyball is Oct. 21. Nesseralla said signups are going well.
In maintenance, the softball and baseball fields have been aerated, and they will be seeding the fields with rye grass soon.
When the fieldhouse was built 21 years ago, the bleachers were designed to fold up against the wall to provide enough room for two teams to use the gym. Since then, some small motor repairs have been done, but otherwise the bleachers remain the same. At last month's meeting Nesseralla said the small wheels on the bleachers were giving out.
Nesseralla said she did some checking but could come up with only one contractor for the repairs. Heartland Seating Inc. from Shawnee, Kansas, provided a repair price quote of $29,942 for work on the bleachers. This would include removing row 9 from both banks of bleachers, rebuilding rows 7 and 8, reattaching both banks of bleachers to the wall, performing a full service tune up, replacing six motor drums and replacing the wheel channel wheels. Heartland noted that with one row removed, the vinyl end curtains will no longer fit and offered to provide a quote for those curtains if needed.
Nesseralla explained that removing row 9 of the bleachers will get the folded bleachers further off the gym floor. It will also eliminate a problem of the bleachers having to navigate over a metal strip along the edge of the gym.
An additional quote from Heartland is for new rails for the bleachers. Currently the rails require manual removal and setup. For $5,036 Heartland will remove the existing aisle rails on six aisles and replace them with self-storing rails that require no user setup.
Nesseralla said if approved now, Heartland could come in over the December holiday break and do the work. If the board preferred to push the project off until the next budget year, the work could be done over the summer.
Although this work was not included in the current budget, the funds are available due to the carryover from last year. Or the project could be done from the capital outlay budget. The amount in capital outlay is mainly for doing chip and seal of the fieldhouse parking.
Parker said the amount is under $50,000 so doesn't require a bidding process. However, the total is over the spending limit of the mayor and the parks director so it will have to be approved by the city council.
Smith arrived during the discussion, but Hansen continued to lead the meeting.
Glass made a motion to approve the repairs totaling $34,978, and it was passed unanimously.
Certificate of Deposit
With interest rates rising, Mayor Parker asked the board if they want to invest some of their cash in certificates of deposit to earn interest. He said the parks and recreation budget has over $600,000 in cash right now. At current rates, if the board invested $500,000 in CDs they would have $15,000 more in interest in 12 months.
Glass suggested they might invest $250,000 for a year. Sherman said he'd like to have the city treasurer look into six month and 12 month investments. Parker said he'll bring figures and options to the next board meeting.
Swimming Pool Plans
Dr. Kay Decker, a member of the Citizen Advisory Committee on the swimming pool, presented plans and drawings for the pool and bathhouse from Kimley Horn. She said the Land and Water Resources grant application was submitted on Sept. 26.
The committee planned a public unveiling of the plans for Oct. 24 but there were too many conflicts, Decker said. Now that unveiling has been set for Sunday, Nov. 6, at the Alva Recreation Complex. She said the event will be come and go from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. with hamburgers available. The event is the kickoff for a fundraising campaign for the swimming pool. Plans and conceptual designs will be enlarged for public viewing once the city council approves the plans.
Additional grants will be sought for the project. Currently, the committee and grant writer are working on a National Register nomination for the pools. That designation would open the possibility of other grants.
Decker believes a master plan for Hatfield Park is needed to pursue further grants since the swimming pool area is part of the original Hatfield land donation to the city. The next application cycle for Land and Water Resources will be September 2023, and Decker said they'll be working on an application for Hatfield Park. She said grant approvals take about 12 months after those applications are submitted.
The plans drawn up for the bathhouse change the public entry to the east side of the building through a gate for ticketing. The front (south) entrance will only lead to the manager's office. Once inside the pool area, people can enter the bathhouse on the north to access restrooms, showers and lockers. Everything will be brought up to handicapped and ADA codes. What has been a storage room on the northwest corner of the building will become a multi-purpose room to be rented out for birthday parties and other events. Storage will be moved to the filtration building at the north end of the swimming pool.
Decker said the committee believes the city should not be in the business of selling concessions at the pool. Instead, they will seek agreements with one or more food trucks to be parked on the west side of the pool. She said they believe a yearlong contract with food trucks could be beneficial since the high school is across the street and students could walk over to get food and snacks.
As the board members looked at drawings of the swimming pool, Decker said the plans had changed very little from the last ones they saw. The pool will hold about half the amount of water that was in the old WPA-built pool.
In addition to the current gazebo, there's a 30 foot group shade structure toward the east side. At the south end is a zero entry area with spray features that will be attractive to children. This leads into the shallow end of the pool with a children's play structure in one-foot of water.
From there the water gradually deepens into the swimming area with three to six feet of water depth. There are a couple of sets of steps that provide direct entry into this section. A paved area or peninsula projects into the area between the low water area and the swimming area. This will provide seating and viewing for parents who want to keep an eye on kids in the water.
At the far north end of the pool is a nine-foot depth with a climbing wall. Decker said this area would be suitable for diving, although the plans don't currently call for a diving board.
Other features include a basketball goal at the pool's edge and water cannons. Kimley Horn included an alternate bid item of an enclosed flume slide in a section set off from the swimming area.
Decker said the designed pool has a capacity of 400 people and requires five lifeguards.
Parker said the grant money applied for is focused on the bathhouse which will be a later part of the construction. Since that grant probably won't be decided until next fall, the city can still start construction on the pool project without touching the bathhouse. The pool is the focus of the fundraising effort.
Glass made a motion to approve the designs, seconded by Smith. The motion passed by unanimous vote. The board's recommendation will go to the city council for final approval.
A video of the meeting may be viewed at http://www.AlvaReviewCourier.com.