By Adam Eisenbarth
Since 1967, Rimbey residents have enjoyed their summers outside at their community pool.
On July 21, at about 2 p.m. the bucket of a Nikirk Bros. Contracting excavator pierced through the roof of the Rimbey Swimming Pool. Hours later, the building was a pile of rubble, ready to be replaced by a major upgrade.
As with most big projects, things haven’t exactly gone as planned. An asbestos issue put the project slightly behind schedule and cost about $45,000 to remove, but civic officials still expect the project to be completed by spring.
In a presentation to Ponoka County council, Mayor Dale Barr and CAO Tony Goode discussed the latest on the project. Goode revealed that the plan is 10 per cent above original financial projections; though Barr added the increase was largely due to improvements rather than building costs. “Most of the changes to the price have been self-inflicted.”
A rise in steel prices has made an impact as well.
One of the most significant changes to plans was the spray park that will be an improved version of what was originally planned. Other changes include plans for a room for meetings and birthday parties, bathroom improvements, as well as a better waterslide ladder.
Barr doesn’t see the additional costs necessarily as being above budget because the changes, aside from the asbestos removal, were planned after the town had a better idea of the possibilities for the project.
“The final budget wasn’t set until the final design was completed.”
After tenders were considered, Scott Builders was determined to be a fit for the town and council elected to go with enhancements to the project.
“Final pricing is evolving as we complete the design process,” Barr said.
Right now, the project is sitting at a price tag of about $2.9 million.
The Rimbey Lions have been busy fundraising, along with other community group donations: including the Rimbey Drop-In Centre at $1,300, Central Alberta Raceways at $5,000, Ponoka County at $500,000 and a CFEP application of $125,000.
It appears 2010 was a good year to go ahead with the project; with the abundance of rain and with the indoor pool at the Best Western being opened to the public, swimmers haven’t missed a beat. Both the hotel and the town are pleased with the way the arrangement has worked out.
Another major project in town, the $4.5 million water reservoir, is on schedule, about halfway to its completion and is on track financially.