PORT ANGELES — A long-planned expansion of William Shore Memorial Pool will begin this month despite a $3.1 million increase in the total cost, district officials said Thursday.
Citing increased demand for construction, pool district Executive Director Steve Burke said the cost of the expansion had risen from an anticipated $16.9 million to $20 million.
The junior taxing district that operates the pool at 225 E. Fifth St. in Port Angeles had set aside contingency funds that will cover the increase, which resulted from higher-than-expected subcontractor bids.
“Increased construction demand is creating market conditions right now that are driving up project costs on the Peninsula and the northwest,” Burke said in a Thursday statement.
“Fortunately, we planned for this possibility and can move forward.”
In a Thursday interview, Burke said property taxes that fund the pool would “not change significantly.”
The pool district has sufficient levy capacity and will only levy the amount it needs, Burke said.
William Shore Memorial Pool District shares a boundary with the Port Angeles School District. Next year’s levy rate for the pool district has not been set.
Construction costs rose from an estimated $10.8 million to $13.5 million when subcontractor bids were opened June 26, Burke said.
Burke, who is also a Port of Port Angeles commissioner, attributed the high bids to “market conditions and difficulty of the project.”
“I was hugely disappointed that the bids came in higher, but we are working in a market condition that favors the contractor, not the owner,” Burke said in a telephone interview.
The $20 million total project cost includes construction, design, engineering, moving the Peninsula Behavioral Health Horizon Center building and sales tax.
“We want to assure the public that we are continuing with our original mission to monitor public funds wisely as we proceed with this needed improvement to the community,” said pool district commissioner Bill Peach, who is also a Clallam County commissioner.
Built in 1961, William Shore pool had outgrown its existing space and needed significant repairs, district officials have said.
The 10,000-square foot expansion and remodeling will add a children’s splash and play area, new locker rooms, a warm-water therapy pool and other amenities, allowing the aquatic center to operate multiple programs at the same time.
Last Friday, the pool board signed the second part of a two-part general contractor/construction management contract with Neeley Construction of Puyallup.
Neeley Construction and the subcontractors will begin mobilizing Monday.
Beginning July 22, crews will demolish parts of the existing building and move dirt to prepare the new parking lot and building pad.
Construction is expected to take about 10 months, Burke said.
The contract with Neeley Construction guarantees that the pool expansion will be completed by June 1, 2020.
The pool closed to the public May 24.
The project is largely funded by bonds that were issued by the pool district and cash, Burke said.
District voters in 2017 approved an increase that expanded the district’s debt capacity by $3.5 million up to $10 million.
Grant funding accounts for about 26 percent of the construction costs, Burke said.
District officials secured more than $3.5 million in state and federal grants for the expansion and expect another $800,000 in the 2020 state capital budget.
Construction updates will be posted weekly on the pool’s website, www.williamshorepool.org.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected].