The Elk Grove City Council voted Wednesday evening to spend $31 million to build an aquatics center whose construction has been stalled for years and improve the property on which the city plans to eventually build a civic center complex.
Wednesday’s special council meeting was held with only one day’s notice, and Mayor Steve Ly was not present. The council approved a staff recommendation that the city sign a contract with Arntz Builders, Inc. , the lowest bidder, to build the aquatics center on 20 acres of a larger city-owned property. The city eventually plans to build a community/senior center, a veteran’s hall, library, performing arts center, children’s museum and a nature center.
The aquatics center will include an Olympic-sized pool with springboards, a recreation pool and an instructional pool. Arntz will also build parking areas, walkways, water features, a veterans park and other facilities to support the eventual Civic Center complex. The next phase of the project is expected to be a combined community/senior center and a veterans hall. Elk Grove officials say the city expects to solicit bids for that portion of the complex this fall.
“This is first of many things to come for the city,” said Darren Suen, Elk Grove City Council member for District 1. “It’s a real physical demonstration of the city’s progress toward providing civic amenities that we’ve been working for so long.”
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According to the staff report, three qualified bidders came close to the engineer’s estimated costs of $18.6 million for the aquatics center and $12.2 million for the grounds improvements. Arntz, with the lowest bid, was still $232,641 above the budget. In order to get back in budget, the city decided to remove reflecting pools. Another option was to make the water slide smaller or eliminate a fountain and plaza, but the city chose to keep those amenities.
The project is primarily funded by Mello Roos assessments paid by property owners in the Laguna Ridge and Poppy Ridge development areas.
“We have a number of funding sources for the project,” said Jason Behrmann, assistant city manager who was in charge of the project. “The property tax is already in place, so there isn’t going to be any tax increase.”
Construction on the aquatics center and grounds improvements is expected to wrap up by May 2018.
Walter Ko: 916-321-1436, @juntaeko