WATERTOWN — City officials will know in about a month whether the pool project at Thompson Park will sink or swim.
That’s when they will find out how much the Thompson Park pool and bathhouse project will cost. Bids were solicited on Wednesday night and will be opened on July 25, said city purchasing manager Dale Morrow.
They’re hoping that bids won’t exceed $2.4 million — the amount bonded for the project — when they come back.
Councilwoman Lisa A. Ruggiero is optimistic that the pool will get done.
“I believe we’re moving ahead,” she said. “We just need to see what the bids come back as.”
Representatives from C&S Companies, the company designing the pool and bathhouse, have assured council members it’s a good time to seek bids.
To drum up interest, information about the bids was distributed to the local building exchange, the Dodge Report, state contractor reports and some local contractors.
City Engineer Justin L. Wood said site work on the project could “potentially begin” this fall. If all goes well, the project could be finished next summer and possibly open for a shortened season, he said.
In April, council members were shocked to learn that C&S Companies engineers determined that the price was going to jump to $2.8 million and instructed them to find a way to cut costs.
To do that, the bathhouse would be reduced from 4,000 square feet to 3,400, the number of toilets would go down from 13 to 7 and some planned external restrooms eliminated. The mechanical system also would be simplified.
To get costs down, the number of swimming lanes would be reduced from five to four.
Council members could be presented the results of the bids at the Aug. 5 meeting and could vote on them that night, Mr. Wood said.
Councilman Ryan Henry-Wilkinson and Councilwoman Ruggiero don’t believe Tuesday’s results from the mayoral and council primary will stop the project.
Work on the new pool and bathhouse might be underway by the general election, Councilwoman Ruggiero said.
The only thing stopping it would be bids coming in too high, Mr. Henry-Wilkinson said.
“Right now, we’re working on proceeding,” he said.
The city is receiving a $200,000 state grant to help finance the pool/bathhouse project. The city paid $115,000 to demolish the 94-year-old pool and to make room for the new one in its place.
The new pool would replace the old one that closed after the 2013 season because of its deteriorating condition.
The city runs two other outdoor pools — at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds and the North Elementary School — in the summer.