Click the link at the right that says “Counsilman-Hunsaker Final Report” to see the four scenarios that the consultants who conducted the feasibility study for a new aquatic center for Mt. Lebanon have recommended for consideration. The scenarios include concepts and projected costs for three outdoor aquatic centers and one indoor natatorium.
The municipality’s goal is to build a facility that will replace the deteriorating 30-year old, 50-meter aluminum pool located in Mt. Lebanon Park. In 2004, a school/municipal committee considered partnering on an indoor 50-meter natatorium and fitness center, but was unable to come up with a concept that met the recreational, competitive, health/ wellness and instructional needs of both the school district and the general public. At the request of some members of the public, a joint committee is again evaluating the possibility of a partnership; a decision should be made in spring 2007.
Whether or not the school district and municipality work together, the municipality plans to have a new aquatic center in place in 2009. In the meantime, the municipal staff and commission continue to welcome your comments on the various scenarios, which range from basically replacing what we have (50 meter pool and baby pool) at a projected cost of $6.6 million, to a 25- or 50- meter outdoor facility with upgraded amenities at a cost of $8 million to $10 million, to a 50-meter indoor facility that would cost nearly $25 million.
We hope you’ll take time to review Counsilman-Hunsacker’s final report, which was compiled following a public input process. The report includes visuals of the various scenarios and provides statistics regarding things such as construction and operating costs, probable attendance, projected expenditures and revenue, and net costs. Any of the options presented could be revised once we enter the design phase.
Please keep in mind that the consultants have used 2009 dollars, as that is when the project would likely take place.
We thank you for your constructive comments over the past few months and look forward to your continuing input.
Plans for a new aquatic center for Mt. Lebanon remain on track, but in an effort to hold the line on taxes, elected officials have removed the $5.3 million for pool construction from the bond issue included the 2007 capital improvement budget. This change not only reduces the bond issue significantly, but it will give the commission time to evaluate the Counsilman-Hunsacker feasibility study, including the projected costs of the various options, before deciding on the amount of the bond issue needed to fund the project. The aquatic center will probably get under way in 2008, and the cost figures provided by Counsilman-Hunsaker in the preliminary report (see link at right) are in 2008 dollars. Counsilman-Hunsacker will provide its final report at a public meeting at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, January 16, at Mt. Lebanon Recreation Center. All posts on this blog have been updated to reflect the fact that the $5.3 million for the aquatic center is no longer included in the 2007 budget.
Despite an unforseen conflict with the high school’s open house–and resulting parking problems–about 65 residents attended the September 6 public meeting about plans for a new aquatic center. Scott Hunsacker of Councilman-Hunsacker, the consulting firm that is conducting the feasibility study, made a brief presentation that included pictures of state-of-the art centers around the country. The facilities ranged in style and price from moderate to high end, with the idea of showing residents the various options that might or might not be included in Mt. Lebanon’s aquatic center.
Following the presentation, the group broke into four sub groups with municipal staff members acting as facilitators and brainstormed around four topics, with their ideas recorded for the consultants to study later. The questions were: Which of the following uses for a swim center–recreation, competition, wellness, or lessons–would you give the highest priority? If you could retain one thing about the existing Mt. Lebanon Pool, what would it be? If you could change one thing about the existing Mt. Lebanon Pool, what would it be? (If money were no object), what amenities would you like to see included?)
The groups, which made presentations at the end, unanimously agreed that recreation should take top priority. (Most people included wellness activities as a form of recreation). Participants also unanimously agreed, that teaching every child to swim should remain a goal and that a new facility should provide for the same types of competition that currently take place in Mt. Lebanon’s 50-meter outdoor pool.
Common requests were for heated water, zero-depth entry, more shade, more deck chairs, a baby pool connected to the main pool and nicer locker rooms. Most people favored retaining the current “footprint” and having a limited but not huge number of recreational amenities such as the existing water slide and sprinkler.
At the evening’s end, each group was asked to present two points that summarized its discussions. Basically, people agreed that they wanted an updated, clean, safe aquatic center that would meet the needs of residents of all interests and ages–a pool with some recreational amenities but not too many “bells and whistles.” And all agreed that is is critical for the school district and the municipality to coordinate their separate renovation plans so that there is not a substantial duplication of effort of an undue burden placed on taxpayers.
You may also post a comment here or email questions (which may be answered on the blog or by a staff member) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are watching your comments closely to see trends and when merited will add new questions and answers to our FAQs page. If you’re wondering what the difference is between an aquatic center and a waterpark or wondering why a private developer can’t build a new swim center, check out the FAQ tab at the top of the page.
We may not be able to answer all your questions on this web log, so we hope you’ll review the consultant’s final report on the feasibility study using the link at the right. Otherwise, keep checking this page or watch for updated information in upcoming issues of Mt. Lebanon Magazine. You may email questions (which may be answered here or by a staff member) to email@example.com.
As you sit in the winter chill anticipating next swim season, think constructively about our 50-meter outdoor pool, the baby pool, the sun bathing area, the snackbar, the dressing rooms, etc., and think about what needs to be added, eliminated or upgraded. Also, if you go somewhere interesting this winter, you may experience swimming pools or aquatic centers that you like or dislike. The consultants’ final report has been presented; now the commission and staff will begin its evaluation of the repor. There is still time to share your ideas about what sort of center will meet our community’s competitive, instructional, recreational and health/wellness needs. Post your comments here, contact your commissioner or speak out at a public commission meeting held the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 8 p.m. in the municipal building. Don’t forget to check out the consultant’s final report, using the tab at the right. Remember that these are only scenarios. During the design phase, changes could be made to any of these options.
Mt. Lebanon is considering building an outdoor aquatic center. An aquatic center is different from a competitive pool, although it would include a competitive element. And it is not a water park, although it could have some features found in water parks. We want to know what you would like to see in an aquatic center. But how do you know what you want, if you haven’t seen any of the state-or-the-art facilities that have been built around the country in recent years. What if you don’t know the difference between an aquatic center, a competitive pool, a leisure pool, a therapy pool or a water park? If you want to start dreaming, check out the new Aquatics International link at the right, which showcases of some of the top water facilities for 2005. Maybe we can’t have all the good stuff, but we probably can have some of it!
Check out answers to frequently asked questions about the proposed aquatic center by clicking on FAQs at the top of this page. As we monitor your comments and begin to see trends, we’ll add new FAQs. Please feel free to suggest one at any time. Thanks.