Update: Lake pool cost rises to $1.4 million

By Heather Michon, correspondent

The cost of Lake Monticello’s pool replacement has risen from $900,000 to $1,399,265.

In a special session Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 15), the Lake Monticello Board of Directors unanimously approved a contract with J.A. Heisler Contracting for the project, which is scheduled to begin as soon as this year’s pool season ends in early September.

During the meeting, Contracts Manager Angie Cook and several of the directors cited the high cost of ADA compliance, demolition, concrete removal, and the construction of a new equipment room as the main causes of the increased cost.

Keeping the pool in the same location also drove up costs. “We were originally going to move the pool towards the parking lot to save money on site work,” General Manager Steve Hurwitz said in an email Sunday night.

Lake Monticello Owners’ Association decided in early 2017 to replace the pool following an inspection in late 2016 that found “literally hundreds of potential leaks” in the pool’s liner and other critical structural and plumbing issues.

With the help of Timmons Group, a Charlottesville-based engineering firm, they unveiled a preliminary design for a new pool facility in a series of town hall-style meeting in March 2017.

The budget for the project was set at $900,000. In June 2017, members approved a $100-per-household special assessment and permission to withdraw up to $434,000 from the emergency reserve account (ERA).

The decision to keep the pool in its current location was made in the fall of 2017 on the recommendation of Timmons Group, due to the higher costs of new permitting, excavation, and other financial and logistical factors.

But keeping it in the same place also turned out to have a higher-than-anticipated cost. Hurwitz said the directors approved an additional $200,000 from the major repairs and replacement (MR&R) fund, bringing the budget to $1.1 million, late last year.

Timmons Group prequalified six companies to bid on the project, and three companies ended up submitting bids. “We did not know in advance [the bids] would come in higher,” said Hurwitz.

The pool itself will cost $700,000, which Cook said was in line with Timmons’ original estimates. The rest, Hurwitz explained, is “the general contractor’s cost for demolition, site work, concrete, fencing, and equipment rental.” Timmons Group will receive around $100,000 for their work on the project, including $22,000 recently approved by the directors for redesign work.

Residents will not be asked to pay more out-of-pocket. An additional $425,000 will come out of MR&R and the short-term operating funds account (STOFA).

Under the contract, the pool is to be finalized by April 1, 2019, and open on May 1, 2019. The directors noted the contract has stiff penalties if the project goes over the timeline, costing the general contractor $500 a day for every day of work past April 1, and $2,000 a day if drags on past May 1.

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