Kiwanis Park outdoor pool reconstruction $390K over budget

All the tenders to reconstruct the pool in Kiwanis Park came in over budget, city staff say.

City staff will work with contractor to try to reduce some costs

Swimming at the outdoor pool in Kitchener's Kiwanis Park will be on hold in 2017. The pool is being rebuilt, but the costs are higher than city staff anticipated. (Aaron Favila/Associated Press)

Rebuilding the outdoor pool in Kitchener's Kiwanis Park is going to cost about $390,000 more than anticipated, city staff say.

"All of the tenders came in over budget," Mark Hildebrand, the city's director of community programs and services, told CBC News.

The pool will need a large piece of equipment to circulate the water. In order to power it, the city will have to pay to bring more hydro service to the park.

That's a significant cost, Hildebrand said.

As well, the city has to build an infiltration gallery to hold the water for when they empty the pool at the end of the season.
Kiwanis Pool looks more like a man-made lake than a traditional swimming pool. It can accommodate up to 1,800 people on a hot day. (City of Kitchener)

Work with contractor to bring down costs

"We're going to work with the successful candidate who gets the tender on reducing the budget by $200,000," Hildebrand said.

That could include shifting where the pool goes, which could reduce the amount of dirt needed to fill around the pool, a potential cost savings of $145,000.

They will also look at decreasing the size of the concrete skirt that goes around the pool, and at what equipment is used.

The additional funds will come from a contingency fund used when projects go over budget, Hildebrand said.
A splash pad, like this one in Kitchener's Victoria Park, is not part of the budget for the outdoor pool at Kiwanis Park. City staff are looking for sponsors to help fund a splash pad because residents indicated they wanted one. (Kate Bueckert/CBC News)

Splash pad not part of budget

The cost does not include a splash pad, which residents said they wanted during consultations.

Hildebrand said they will be looking for sponsorship help to cover the cost of the splash pad, because they would like to do the work at the same time as the pool.

The current pool is unique in its design because it looks more like a man-made beach than a traditional pool. It can hold up to 1,800 people on a hot day.

Hildebrand said the footprint of the new pool will look smaller, "but there will be more useful space in the pool."

The current design has a blockhouse in the pool, which makes about a quarter of the pool unusable. The new pool will be completely useable all the way around it. The goal is to still be able to accommodate 1,800 swimmers at a time.

City council will be discussing the pool's reconstruction budget during Monday night's committee of the whole meeting.

The pool is already scheduled to be closed for the 2017 season.


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