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Another year without a pool
Columbia Pool project not expected to be done until 2024
Columbia Pool update
Demolition of the Columbia Park pool has been completed — at a cost of more than $500,000, using funds from the city’s cannabis pilot program. A request for bids on the construction of the new pool is expected to go out in May (JOE CORTEZ/The Journal).

The Columbia Park swimming pool will not be operational in 2023, but with a pool heater expected to be part of the renovation project, the 2024 swimming season is expected start earlier and end later, according to information presented to the city’s Parks, Arts and Recreation Commission.

Demolition of the pool has been completed — at a cost of more than $500,000, using funds from the city’s cannabis pilot program.

On the horizon is the bid process.

“O’Dell Engineering has submitted 60 percent plans of the project,” said Karen Packwood, the city’s Parks, Recreation and Public Facilities supervisor. “The 60 percent plans include a lot of detail of the overall project: the shape of the pool, the ramps, what it’s going to look like, where buildings are going to be. …

“The site layout is complete and a consultant is finalizing details and the drawings. Staff are finalizing the building designs, which should be complete in a couple of weeks. Then, after that, the consultant will submit the 90 percent plans. This will include all of the fine details that will need to be completed with the project.”

After that, 100 percent plans are submitted and the city’s engineering staff will use those to advertise the project for bid.

“So, we haven’t even gone out to bid on this project,” added Packwood. “The engineering staff estimate advertising the project in May.”

Packwood told the commission there are no cost projections at this point. It was estimated that the project would cost $6.7 million. However, that was back in 2020 before the pandemic.

“And we know the cost of things have gone up,” said Packwood.

This summer, the city will run its aquatics programs at the high school facilities, as it typically does, as they have a facility-use agreement in place with Turlock Unified School District.

However, the city has to wait until the high schools are done using their pools before it can begin. Typically, the schools’ swimming season doesn’t conclude until late May. The schools start up again in August for water polo tryouts, practices and games.

“We are hopeful that we can staff both high school pools and operate swim lessons and rec swim out of both,” said Packwood. “If we don’t have enough staff, then we’ll just run one pool.”

Also discussed at the meeting was the lights renovation project at city-owned Pedretti Park, 2400 Tegner Rd.

The city is looking to upgrade the lighting for the individual playing fields, and this project also is currently in the hands of the city’s engineering department. Bids for the project are expected in April and will go before the city council in May.

Estimates for replacing the lights range between $200,00 and $600,000.

Also discussed at the meeting was a roads project — 14 road renovation projects were slated be advertised for bids last week, according to Packwood — and scheduled updates to the Turlock Senior Center, 1191 Cahill St.

Prior to Wednesday’s meeting, two new members to the commission — Shehu Hassan and Jeremy Ramirez — were sworn in. Member John Snoke announced that he would be stepping down from the commission.