Trumbull Aquatics committee to weigh cost options

TRUMBULL — When the Aquatics Facilities Building Committee meets March 12, members will weigh the cost difference between building a new indoor pool at Beach Park or one at Tashua Knolls.

A third option, demolishing the existing Hillcrest pool and building a new one in its place, is no longer under consideration.

“It was taken off the table and Beach’s came to the forefront because Beach’s has sewers,” said architect George Wiles. “That’s going to add cost to the facility.”

Wiles at the committee’s Feb. 13 meeting outlined the pros and cons of locating the proposed facility at Tashua Knolls. Beach Park had been the committee’s favored location, but the group took another look at Tashua following public feedback.

Committee Chairman Jason Marsh said Parks Director Dmitri Paris had informed the committee that the existing Tashua pool was due for major renovation in the near future.

“It was posited that why don’t we consider doing (the Tashua renovation) at the same time and making an indoor-outdoor center, and it made sense to connect the projects,” he said.

The Tashua location also has the benefit of already being a recreation hub for the town, Marsh said.

Based on preliminary topographical information obtained from online sources, plus a site-walk, Wiles told the committee that if the proposed aquatics center were to be built at Tashua, he recommended it be built west of the current pool. The design Wiles recommended included eliminating the existing snack bar.

The proposed building would be smaller than the Beach’s proposal because the topography at Tashua allows the filtration system to be located under the bleachers. The existing parking, basketball and tennis courts would remain the same, he said.

But Wiles stressed that he could not say for sure whether the Tashua location would work without more in-depth topographical information.

“We’re still very concerned about additional parking,” he said.

Wiles also said he wanted more sub-surface information to determine if the area was suitable for an expanded septic system.

“We need to determine a little more what’s under the ground,” he said.

Committee member Mark Block said he hoped to get a detailed cost analysis to replace the existing Hillcrest pool with the proposed aquatics center, a move Marsh disagreed with.

“By doing that, we are effectively losing our competition pool for 1 1/2 to two years,” Marsh said. Attaching the center to the school also was a security concern.

Block said if security was an issue, it could be dealt with.

“The facility connects (to Hillcrest) now,” Block said. “Quite frankly, if security is an issue now, we ought to be doing something about security now.”

Block’s suggestion failed when no other committee member supported it.