Olympic pool expansion in Arlington Heights to cost nearly $17 million

  • A sketch shows the Arlington Heights Park District's proposed $16.9 million expansion of the Olympic Indoor Swim Center. It includes a new gymnasium, a warm water pool and a fitness area.

    A sketch shows the Arlington Heights Park District's proposed $16.9 million expansion of the Olympic Indoor Swim Center. It includes a new gymnasium, a warm water pool and a fitness area. Courtesy of the Village of Arlington Heights

Updated 6/29/2018 6:45 AM

A two-story, 32,000-square-foot addition to the Olympic Indoor Swim Center in Arlington Heights, along with upgrades to the existing building, is expected to cost nearly $17 million, per the bid price approved Thursday by the park board.

Park district commissioners evaluated four different plans with varying amenities -- ranging in price from about $15 million to $18 million -- before settling on the second-lowest priced plan, at a bid of $16.9 million. The discussion came after commissioners asked their hired consultants and staff to find cost savings options once bids were unveiled two weeks ago.


The project, which already received approvals from the village board in April, calls for a two-story, 32,000-square-foot addition on the north and west sides of the center at 660 N. Ridge Ave. It will include a gymnasium with two full-sized basketball courts, a second-floor indoor walking track, a 30-by-50-foot warm water pool, a fitness area and multipurpose rooms.

About $1 million will be spent on maintenance of the existing building, including fixing a pool drain, replacing the boiler and installing a new dehumidification system.

Commissioners picked about a dozen upgrades to possibly do without, in an effort to find some $362,000 in savings. That includes laying down carpet instead of ceramic tile in some hallways, using a different kind of grout for ceramic tile in other areas and installing less-decorative baseboards.

But they opted to keep other items, like the second gym, a cushioned floor for the walking track instead of concrete, and permanent stairs that lead to the existing lap pool.

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The four commissioners at Thursday's meeting disagreed about two items but ultimately decided to keep them in the project. Commissioners Tim Gelinas and Rob Nesvacil favored removing some sound absorption panels in the gym, warm water pool and fitness areas and eliminating aesthetic fiberboard paneling and signage from some walls, to save $42,000.

"That's Cadillac," Gelinas said of the wall panels. "We want Chevy."

"That's your opinion," board President Maryfran Leno retorted. "22,000 of a $17 million project so we have wayfinding signage? We don't have to become completely just a plain 'Where are people going?' building."

The district is paying for the project by borrowing $12.2 million -- $9.2 million via a bond issue last fall and $3 million still to come -- with the remainder a mixture of property taxes and reserve funds.

Groundbreaking is scheduled for next month with completion by January 2020.

Builders plan to start work on the addition first, followed by upgrades inside the current building. Officials say that would mean the closure of the facility beginning in March 2019 and the temporary relocation of some swim activities to other pools.

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