Nichols Park Pool Renovation Plans Finalized

By Benjamin Cox on July 26, 2023 at 11:37am

The Nichols Park Pool officially has a contractor and an approval on improvements.

Reggie Benton of Benton & Associates reappeared before the council for the second meeting in a row to lay out terms and conditions for Trotter Construction of Macomb to complete the renovations that will now roughly cost around $1.7 million.

Benton says that the city had to close the pool this year regardless of the scope of the improvements: “The current condition of the pool didn’t really allow for a cost-effective opening of the pool this year. Our plan was to get construction started during this swim season so we only miss one swim season for the people who frequent the Nichols Park Pool. The idea is that the contract completion date is for June 7, 2024 with all of the infrastructure that’s in poor condition being upgraded so that it’s ready and will provide continuous operation when it’s put back in use.”

Benton says the primary problem was with the guttering system causing wash out on the pool deck, making some of the foundation unstable. Once the new renovations are complete, a new stainless steel gutter system along with improvements to the bath house and other infrastructure will make it more efficient and appealing. The new plans include a family-friendly bath house and a zero-depth entry.

Benton says the improvements should have at least a 30-year lifespan before maintenance will be revisited again: “I believe that most of the improvements will last 30 years-plus. The minimum design life under the DNR grant process is 20 years. So, I genuinely believe these dollars invested at Nichols Park Pool will serve the community and the surrounding area for quite some time.”

The bid for the work has been awarded to Trotter Construction out of Macomb. Trotter recently completed the Winchester Public Library’s addition and upgrades and completed the Winchester Municipal Pool upgrades in 2020.

Benton says Trotter’s work on pools is well known in the area: “They are doing several pools that we have designed right now, and we specifically asked for the foreman that’s doing some of the work so that we have someone that’s kind of familiar with that sort of specialty work. Trotter Construction has done a fair amount of pool work. They are well known, and they actually have interest in doing more work in the Jacksonville area according to what Mr. Trotter has shared with us.”

Benton says that the city will use up its OSLAD grant funding from the State of Illinois first to make sure the city meets the deadline on the grant.

The City is expected to use remaining American Rescue Plan Act funding and possibly a series of other funds to help pay for the remaining portions of the project. The plans to pay for the remaining portions weren’t immediately made clear during Monday night’s City Council meeting.