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Sun, Oct. 20

Chino hopes to have pool open this summer

CHINO VALLEY – A contractor the Town Council is likely to hire tonight plans to start construction of the Territorial-style Aquatics Center next week and take four months to build it, officials said.

"We are pushing hard to have it open by the summer season," said John Willoughby, interim parks and recreation director. The center will feature an outdoor swimming pool, bathhouse building and pool maintenance building, for summer use.

Willoughby said the council received only one bid: $2.4 million from Low Mountain Construction of Phoenix. He said the town's initial estimate amounted to $2 million, while acknowledging that the estimate did not include parking spaces.

The contract with Low Mountain calls for about 190 parking spaces, he said. The Aquatics Center will go up on two acres at Community Park, located at Perkinsville Road and Road 1 East.

Asked why the town received only one bid, Willoughby said, "I think everybody (in contracting) is extremely busy during this time of the year. … It is a specialized project."

The completed center will be unusual because it will use masonry in keeping with the Territorial origins of Chino Valley, said Douglas Stroh, architect with Stroh Rogers Architects Inc. in Prescott.

"We do a lot of projects for our governmental clients, and it's our philosophy to basically build a building with as close to zero maintenance (as possible)," Stroh said. "It is very unique for the Town of Chino Valley because it is really the flagship for recreational facilities that the town is planning."

He said the masonry is "intricately" colored and waterproof. Stone wainscoting around the base of the building will protect it from vandalism.

By contrast, stucco does not hold up well for public buildings, Stroh said.

"You have to repaint them," he said. "They have a tendency to crack in our climate. It's not responsible architecture for the public domain."

The center will feature a 4,500-square-foot building housing a bathhouse with locker and family changing rooms, a meeting/training room, staff offices, and a snack bar and a 1,000-square-foot pool equipment building, according to a description that the architect provided.

The outdoor swimming pool will contain 2,376 square feet of space for a play area, 3,379 square feet for the six-lane competition area and more than 300 square feet of shallow water serving the water slide.

Pool users will pay a nominal fee and can obtain season passes, Willoughby said. The public also may rent the meeting room for birthday parties and other events.

The center is part of a $4 million rehab project for the 36-acre Community Park, Willoughby said. BMA Architects, Planners & Landscape Architects of Prescott Valley is doing that project.

He added that the town is using a bond, a state park grant, and money from the Chino Valley Recreation Foundation and the Bright Star developer to pay for the Aquatics Center project.

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