19-08-23 BCRD pool remodel 1.jpg

Eric Rector, director of trails, operations and facilities for the BCRD, tours work on the district’s Aquatic Center on Wednesday, days after Conrad Brothers Construction broke ground.

Hours after the Blaine County Recreation District shut down its pool for the summer, trucks rolled into the west side of the Community Campus in Hailey to get to work on another.

On Aug. 19, the BCRD began construction on the second phase of its Aquatic Center renovation, updating the existing lap pool, adding a kid-friendly recreational one, building a hot tub, modernizing mechanical systems and revamping the overall site.

On Friday, June 28, the BCRD’s board of directors unanimously approved a $1.5 million base bid for the project from local contractor Conrad Brothers Construction to do the work. Days later, Hailey’s Planning and Zoning Commission approved a design-review application for the project, clearing the path to build.

Conrad Brothers plans to dig before the ground freezes and continue work after it thaws, aiming to complete the renovation in time for a summer 2020 ribbon cutting.

“We are so proud to see this project come to fruition,” BCRD Executive Director Jim Keating said in a statement. “The Aquatic Center revitalization will breathe new life into the facility and better serve the members of our community.”

The new work follows a $500,000 rebuild of the on-site bathhouse complex completed in 2017. All in, it’s expected to cost $2.5 million. As of this week, it was 85 percent funded, Keating said.

First built in 1985, the BCRD Aquatic Center sees some 22,000 visits each summer. This year, 450 kids enrolled in its learn-to-swim programs, plus another 100 participated in its swim team. The expansion would allow the BCRD to grow its instructional programing by 50 percent, according to the Rec District.

The zero-depth entry “leisure” pool will max out at 5 feet, said Eric Rector, director of trails, operations and facilities for the BCRD. According to plans, it will be dug on the site of the existing bicycle pump track north of the original pool.

Earlier this month, Keating said the BCRD is “totally committed” to replacing that feature on a district-owned parcel at nearby Quigley Canyon. The district is working with Alpine Bike Parks to get that done, and it plans to develop infrastructure for a park at the mouth of the canyon, putting in a road, utilities, parking and irrigation.

Email the writer: mdee@mtexpress.com

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