As reported here over the weekend, West Seattle’s only city-run indoor swimming pool, Southwest Pool — currently closed for extensive renovations and maintenance — has just changed its planned reopening date to November 1st, a month later than first expected. Project manager Garrett Farrell called us this morning to explain what happened, and how things are going overall. Bottom line: The Parks Department had to publicly bid the project; the original low bidder turned out to not have the proper qualifications, and re-evaluating, then awarding the work to the second-lowest bidder, cost three weeks. Why wasn’t the bidding done sooner, we asked? Because, as reported in our preview story about the project, the scope of the work had to change — and a quarter-million dollars extra had to be found — when it was discovered relatively late in the game that a big electrical vault hidden in a planter in front of the community center was complicating matters – here’s a Parks photo (this is where the raised planter was, on the northeast side of the building):
The old vault had to be taken out, a new, larger one installed, and that’s upgraded electrical service to the building; Farrell says the project is now on target to wrap up in late October; Parks has set November 1st as the new reopening time in hopes that gives a little bit of wiggle room – progress so far includes not only completion of the electrical work but also other demolition work and some water piping to adjacent Southwest Community Center. Farrell adds, “The roof has been removed from the boiler room and we are waiting on the delivery of two large mechanical units. The first will go in the basement, and then we can put the building back together. Roofing work will start in early August and continue for six to eight weeks.” (You can see the inner workings, pre-project, in the video we included in our preview story.) He says the construction company, TCM, is doing “a fantastic job” and also has kudos for the SWCC staff being “superflexible as we tear up their house and put it back together.” Note that the community center IS OPEN – you just have to enter through the back (south) side while the pool work has the front entrance blocked off.