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County Unveils Initial Designs For Recreational CIPs At Public Meeting

on September 5, 2019 - 9:04am
Members of the public weigh in on the multi-generational pool schematic design Aug. 28. Photo by Kirsten Laskey/
Los Alamos Daily Post

What started out as ideas and a few rough conceptual drawings is now becoming a reality. The Los Alamos County recreational capital improvement projects are taking form and progressing into the design stages.

The status of the splash pad, multi-generational pool and Los Alamos County Golf Course irrigation system was unveiled to the public during a meeting Aug. 28 at Fuller Lodge. Attendees had the opportunity to ask questions about the projects and weigh in on final appearances and uses.

Multi-generational pool

Ted Grumblatt and Drew Fisher of FBT Architects presented the initial schematic design for the multi-generational pool, featured as an addition to the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center.

Once the schematic design phase is finalized; a more detailed design development stage will begin and is expected to be completed in October preceded by another public meeting. Final design plans are scheduled for completion in February 2020 followed by advertisement for construction bids. Construction is scheduled to begin in May 2020 and be completed in June 2021. The total project budget for the new pool is $6.5 million to cover all design, construction, taxes and other ancillary costs.

Grumblatt said they had originally produced 14 schemes for the new pool, but whittled it down to two. The basic difference between the options, he said, is the placement of the bathrooms and one is narrower than the other.

Both options feature a zero-entry pool that is 18-inches deep, a separate 3 ½-foot pool, an approximate 75-foot long lazy river and 19-foot tall water tower with insulated tubes that twists and turns through the interior and the exterior of the building for year round use

Additionally, Fisher said the design calls for a toddler slide as well as interactive water features.

Several people questioned the size of the pool. One member of the audience pointed out that swim classes can have up to 60 participants. Initially, it was stated that pool capacity was limited to 40 people. However, a more thorough review shows the pool capacity is 134, but also may be limited by the number of lifeguards on duty.

Fisher and Grumblatt emphasized the budget played a big role in the size of the pool.

“We’re trying to work within the budget and give you the best bang for your buck,” Grumblatt said.

Community Services Department Director Brian Brogan pointed out that with the additional pool, the County recreation department will be able to expand its offerings for swim classes.

Grumblatt said they are excited to bring this project to fruition.

“We’re really excited about this project … we get to act like kids again,” he said.

Splash Pad

Abigail Feldman and Kenneth Francis of Surroundings presented a talk on the splash pad next to Pinon Park in White Rock.

Design of the splash will continue through the end of the year with another public meeting scheduled for November before plans are finalized in December. Bids to construct the project will follow and construction is completion anticipated completion in June 2020. The total project budget is $720,000, which must accommodate all design, construction, taxes and other ancillary costs.

Francis said they are hoping to push the budget numbers to possibly expand on the splash pad and add more features.

“I think we can get some really great stuff to make this a really great splash pad,” he said.

In order to do that, Feldman and Francis asked the audience to vote on a design theme for the splash pad: science or nature.

The science theme features a colorful, foam-like floor surface and uniquely designed water features. The nature-themed design features an earth-toned floor surface and water features that resemble plants and flowers. Shade structures, changing rooms, furnishings and a grassy area also are being considered as options as the budget allows. Concrete formerly used in Pinon Park’s shuffleboard area could be reused as seating areas or retaining walls for planters. Feldman said 9-15 water features are being planned for use by various age groups.

Although the design is in its early stages, Francis added that various water system equipment types are being considered, which include flow-through and recirculation type systems. Regardless of the system chosen, both systems would offer an activation button that would start water flow through the different features. A drain would in the center of the pad to collect the water.

In addition to voting on the theme of the splash pad, audience members were asked what they valued more: a larger area for water features or amenities around the splash pad like seating or shade structures.

Golf Course Irrigation System

Jeff Stewart and Jeff Goode of MRWM Landscape Architects and Irrigation Services, LLC spoke about the analysis and design work performed thus far on the Los Alamos Golf Course Irrigation Project.

Estimated costs for the project range between $2.1 to $2.4 million excluding taxes and associated costs. The project includes a new edge-to-edge irrigation system for the greens and tees as well as new 1,500 sprinklers. The new systems would be operated by computers and each individual sprinkler will have an electric-valve-in-head, which means it can be operated alone.

According to the presentation, the new irrigation will reduce water usage.

The per acre water requirement for golf course watering is 305,645 gallons per acre per year. So, for almost 80 acres of turf, more than 24 million gallons of water would need to be used annually. In 2018, the Los Alamos Golf Course used more than 39.5 million gallons.

The system will have the ability to apply up to 30 million gallons annually, which means it could potentially reduce water use about 23.7 percent over the 2018 water usage number.

The golf course is watered with the County’s non potable water.

The schematic review for the new irrigation system is under review. The design development phase is scheduled to occur September through October along with another public presentation, and final construction documents are planned to be developed October through December. Construction will be accomplished in two phases. The first phase is scheduled March through June 2020 and the second phase August through November 2020 to accommodate 9-holes of play for golfers during each phase.