URBANA — Razing of the old Crystal Lake Pool in north Urbana should begin in the next two weeks, according to Vicki Mayes, executive director of the Urbana Park District.
The park district board last week awarded a demolition contract to Stark Excavating Inc. of Bloomington for $149,750. Three of the other five bids for the demolition were for more than $300,000. And a park district contractor had estimated that $117,000 would be required for the demolition.
"That really doesn't worry me. I don't think we had everything pulled out of the estimates that would have gone into the demolition package," Mayes said. "It also is lower than what we had budgeted for it. We had budgeted $300,000 for demolition."
But Mayes admitted she is concerned about the environment for the construction bids for the new Crystal Lake aquatics center. They are expected to be opened in June.
"I'm just overall worried about the general economy and the changes in gas prices. I don't think we have as good a bid environment as when we bid out (the park district's planning and operations facility) two years ago," she said. "We're getting good bids, but I don't think they're going to be as good as occurred when we did that project."
The pool project is still on schedule for a May 2013 opening, she said.
The park district has $8.1 million budgeted for construction of the new pool, although that number could grow depending on donations and the outcome of a request for a $400,000 state grant. If the grant request is approved it would pay for a second water slide and a stream bed feature at the pool.
"We haven't heard anything yet," Mayes said of the grant application, "but we've been told the recommendations are in the governor's office and now we're expecting to hear something in May."
Meanwhile, the park district will hold an event at 12:30 p.m. April 5 to celebrate the beginning of the demolition of the 1980-era Crystal Lake Pool. Among the structures to be removed are the old bathhouse and mechanical building as well as the concrete pool deck and pool.
"We expect the demolition work will begin right around that time although we don't have an exact date," Mayes said.
Among the items not to be removed, she said, are portions of the original Crystal Lake Pool which was built at the same site in 1927.
"We think they're buried far enough down that we won't need to excavate them. They can stay where they are and rest easily there," Mayes said.