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Ballwin acts on North Pointe renovation

By: Jim Erickson

North Pointe Aquatic Center

The city of Ballwin is moving ahead with plans to make a major renovation at its North Pointe Aquatic Center.

In an effort to have the work completed in time for the opening of the 2018 summer season, the city has issued a request for quotations from contractors interested in handling the project on a “design-build” basis.

The Missouri legislature last year authorized a design-build delivery option for public improvement projects. The more traditional approach would have involved selecting an architect who would handle the design phase, write specifications for a formal bid process and assist with oversight of the work.

The design-build approach should mean less time and cost involved in a streamlined design process. With a single firm hired based on its qualifications and reputation to deliver both design and construction, the method also means less likelihood of finger-pointing if any problem or unforeseen circumstances arise.

Linda Bruer, Ballwin’s director of parks and recreation, also pointed out that there are only a few qualified designers and contractors for the kind of specialized renovation that’s planned. That reality makes the design-build approach more practical.

To help finance the work, the city has submitted a request to the St. Louis County Municipal Park Grant Commission for the $525,000 maximum amount the group awards.

Decisions on who will receive grant funding will be made soon

Proposed improvements include replacing the existing “bucket falls” play structure and the current 480-square-foot splash pad with a shaded pad measuring about 1,200 square feet.

The free-standing water features [fountains] in the kiddie and leisure pools also will be replaced.

Total estimated project cost is some $840,000.

The biggest hurdle to completing the renovation is the timing for ordering the new custom-manufactured play structure. If Ballwin receives the grant this fall and the design-build approach proceeds as expected, the piece can be ordered in time to expect delivery by February or March 2018, leaving adequate time for installation before the season opens in late May.

Due to the seasonal nature of the business, ordering the desired structure later than the end of this year likely would mean a mid-summer delivery.

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