The City Council on Monday night hired an Irvine-based firm as the project manager for construction of the new Piedmont Community Pool Project, which city leaders hope will be completed by mid-2024.
The council voted unanimously to hire Irvine-based Griffin Structures to lead the pool project from design development through construction, and be responsible for developing the project’s budget and keeping the pool project on schedule and on budget.
The budget for Griffin’s work also was set Monday night, at $612,700. The Griffin contract itself is for $557,000.
Griffin was chosen from among four firms that responded to a February “request for proposals” issued by the city. Griffin has also been involved with renovations of the Roberts Pool (East Bay Regional Park District) on Skyline Boulevard in Oakland, and the City of San Bruno’s Recreation and Aquatic Center.
Griffin principal Jon Hughes assured council members Monday night that they will make sure the pool is built with the challenges of climate change in mind, and the challenges (and opportunities) associated with implementing green technology in building the pool.
Paul Benoit, the city’s special assistant for the pool project, said specific measures in that area will be decided in the design phase of the project, and that carbon-neutral aspects will be the design team’s challenge.
Resident Margaret Ovenden praised that pledge to build “green;” swimming pools can have significant effects on the environment, she said.
“Honestly, this is a huge way to educate the public as they see the process going on,” she said. “I hope it will move people to take such action on their own construction projects.”
The Griffin contract includes a preliminary schedule for the Piedmont pool project; (1) pre-design, July through November of this year; 2) design and permitting:, December 2021 through February 2023; 3) construction, March 2023 through May 2024; and 4) closeout, June through August 2024.
Hughes told the council those numbers and dates allow for some wiggle room. “Maybe we can do better, but only time will tell,” he said.
With Monday night’s contract approval, Griffin assigned George Sanen, who was on the council’s Zoom presentation Monday, to serve as project manager for the Piedmont pool project.
In November 2020, Piedmont voters approved Measure UU, which calls for authorizing the city to issue up to $19.5 million in general obligation bonds to finance construction of a new city swimming pool.
The new pool will replace the existing 57-year-old Piedmont aquatics facility. Operated by the City of Piedmont from 2011 until its COVID-19-related closure in March 2020, the old pool was literally crumbling upon its shutdown, leaking an estimated 3,000 gallons of water each day. Though several people have asked the City Council to consider reopening the old pool short-term, mostly for the benefit of competitive school-age swimmers and water polo players, Councilwoman Betsy Smegal Andersen said Monday night the old pool may never reopen.
Hughes said there are too many unknowns at this very early stage to promise pool completion by August 2024. But Andersen said she expects Piedmont’s swimming public will be very eager to dive in by that date, especially if the old pool indeed never reopens.