County: New Aquatic Center is under budget
by Marcus E. Howard
mhoward@cherokeetribune.com
September 30, 2012 01:12 AM | 5846 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The ceremonial groundbreaking for the Cherokee County Aquatic Center took place in February. From left, Douglas Davidson of New South Construction, Cherokee County Manager Jerry Cooper, County Commissioner Karen Bosch, County Commissioner Jason Nelms, Harry Johnson, County Commissioner Jim Hubbard, Board Chariman Buzz Ahrens, Bryan Reynolds of Cherokee Parks and Recreation, Jerry Cooper and Bill Echols.  In the wake of criticism, the new Cherokee County Aquatic Center under construction on Sixes Road near Holly Springs is coming in under budget, according to Bill Echols, Cherokee County’s capital projects director.<br>Cherokee Tribune/file
The ceremonial groundbreaking for the Cherokee County Aquatic Center took place in February. From left, Douglas Davidson of New South Construction, Cherokee County Manager Jerry Cooper, County Commissioner Karen Bosch, County Commissioner Jason Nelms, Harry Johnson, County Commissioner Jim Hubbard, Board Chariman Buzz Ahrens, Bryan Reynolds of Cherokee Parks and Recreation, Jerry Cooper and Bill Echols. In the wake of criticism, the new Cherokee County Aquatic Center under construction on Sixes Road near Holly Springs is coming in under budget, according to Bill Echols, Cherokee County’s capital projects director.
Cherokee Tribune/file
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CANTON — In the wake of criticism, the new Cherokee County Aquatic Center under construction on Sixes Road near Holly Springs is coming in under budget, according to Bill Echols, Cherokee County’s capital projects director.

Echols will give an update on the project at Tuesday’s work session of the Cherokee Board of Commissioners.

The regular agenda meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at Cherokee Hall in the Northside Hospital-Cherokee Conference Center, following the 3 p.m. work session.

The overall project budget — including land, design services, construction, equipment and furnishings — totals $19.8 million, including a $16.2 million construction budget, according to Echols. He said the project is presently on track to come in under budget.

The project was scheduled to be completed as early as next April.

The Aquatic Center – which is funded by a $90 million parks bond referendum approved by voters in 2008 — will include a 50-meter competition pool with spectator seating for 700. It can be configured into two 25-yard swim areas, and allows for high school and college competition under the latest construction plans.

However, the project has come under scrutiny, with critics saying some of the aspects of the original plan, such as competition diving equipment, were dropped. There have also been concerns about the extra cost associated with working around a massive rock underneath the building.

But Echols said the rock was already taken into consideration in a contingency budget by the county.

“We knew we were going to encounter (rock) based upon our design-based soil exploration,” he said. “So that when you take the budget for construction into contingency we had for rock, we are under that total.”

Echols said workers are in the process of installing roofing but that it will not be watertight until a couple of months from now. The pool contractor has already begun digging for the 50-meter indoor pool, with digging for a smaller therapy pool to start within a couple of weeks, he said.

Digging and concrete work for the outdoor pool has been finished for the past two or three months, said Echols. He said it’s now ready for tile work. In addition, workers began installing the exterior masonry within the past week, he said.

“We’re very pleased,” said Echols. “The work is proceeding on schedule and as planned.”

Other items on the agenda include:

* Consider final acceptance of all public rights-of-way, roadways and appurtenant draining structures in the Woodmont Subdivision Units 11A, 11B and the Grove.

* Consider final acceptance of all public rights-of-ways and appurtenant drainage structures in the Centennial Lakes Subdivision – Pod 1.

* Consider authorization to surplus and dispose of old Fire-ES fire ladders and inoperable air cylinders through an aluminum recycling center.

* Consider approval to set a public hearing for 6 p.m. Oct.16. at Cherokee Hall to hear public comments about the FY 2013 budget.

* Consider approval of contribution agreement for the cost sharing partnership to facilitate the implementation of planned conservation practices between the county and Canton Field office of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

* Consider approval and award of bid and contract with lowest overall bidder, Consolidated Telecom of Dallas, Texas, for telephone service and equipment for use by the inmates of Cherokee Adult Detention Center.

* Consider approval and award of bid and contract with the lowest overall bidder, A&S Canteen of Stockbridge, for the commissary services and equipment for use by the inmates of the Cherokee Adult Detention Center.

* Consider approval to renew the contract with Oldsmar, Fla.-based Trinity Services Group Inc. for food service to the inmates and staff of the Cherokee Adult Detention Center. Trinity has agreed to provide the same level of service for the next 12 months for an increase of only two cents per meal. The increase will not result in the need for an increase in budget, according to the county.

* Consider approval to renew the contract with Correct Health of Stockbridge for medical services to the inmates of the Cherokee Adult Detention Center for $1,756,889. This cost includes an increase requested of $10,000 over last year’s contract to help cover rising medical expenses. However, the increase will not result in the need for an increase in budget, according to the county.
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