At their April 26 meeting, the Pierre City Commission accepted the bid to build Pierre’s new outdoor pool complex complete with a recreational pool, multi-purpose pool, lazy river, slides, diving boards and a variety of other water features. Work is expected to begin this summer, and the project is scheduled to wrap up in the fall of 2023.
“I’m very excited to be at this point,” said Pierre Mayor Steve Harding. “The pool has been a long-time coming; this is a big step!”
Sharpe Enterprises of Pierre provided the low and the only bid at $18.3 million. City Administrator Kristi Honeywell says that she’s pleased to have a local general contractor on the project.
“Sharpe is invested in Pierre, they’re working with several local subcontractors, and that means much of the financial investment will stay right here in our community,” said Honeywell.
The bid did come in higher than the original engineer’s estimates from early 2019.
“A lot has happened since we started down this path,” said Mayor Harding. “COVID hit shortly after we rolled this project out, and we’re still dealing with the aftershocks.”
Harding says that the cost of materials, the supply chain, and the depressed labor market are all impacting project cost.
“I wasn’t terribly surprised by the difference in the estimate and the bid. We were anticipating the project to cost more than the original estimate, and we have been planning accordingly since the pandemic began,” said Mayor Harding.
Twila Hight, City Finance Director, says that the City secured a $10 million loan for the project in 2020. Additionally, private donations are expected to cover $3 million of the project. The City will cover the remaining project costs with operating funds through the annual budgeting process and reserves.
The total project cost, including the earthwork, the engineering, and testing, is expected to be close to $20-million. To cover that obligation, the Commission also approved a budget supplement this evening. That’s an accounting procedure used to make sure financial obligations are identified and accounted for.
“It’s important to remember, we don’t need to write a check for the full amount tonight. We have a number of years to pay for this project,” said Harding.
The new outdoor pool will be located in Griffin Park and is replacing a 90-plus year old outdoor pool that was demolished in 2020. The new pool is expected to last 50 years or more.