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Advisory Board talks next steps

FAIRMONT– The Fairmont Community Center Advisory Board met briefly Wednesday afternoon to review survey results and talk about next steps.

Members of the board worked on putting together survey questions to gather information from the community to assist the design team in looking at post-Covid options for the proposed community center. The idea was suggested to the board at its February meeting by the city’s owner representative, Tegra.

Last month the survey was printed in area newspapers and posted on the city’s website. About 500 resident responses were gathered along with 166 non-resident responses. City Administrator Cathy Reynolds said the city included non-residents in the survey as the community center is viewed to be a regional asset and their use will help support its operations.

People were asked to pick their top three amenities out of six choices and Reynolds noted that pool, track and ice were ranked as the top amenities that people would use. Pool had the highest selected at 46 percent, followed by track at 35 percent and ice at 33 percent.

“I think that helps us as we start to look. This is really focused on… as we start looking at concept design, these are our priority areas,” Reynolds said.

“Bigger picture-wise, I think it’s consistent with what we’ve seen since 2016 forward,” said Brandon Edmundson.

Board members talked briefly about the type of pool that would be part of the community center. Dick Strassburg of Tegra had previously pointed out that there are really two pools, a kiddie pool with a slide that’s the temperature of a bathtub, and then a competition, lap pool, which has a cooler water temperature.

On the survey people were asked to select what they would use a pool for and almost an even amount of responses were marked for swim laps, aerobics, play area and party rental.

Moving to other matters, Reynolds said that interviews for architect/engineer will take place today.

Reynolds, along with two representatives of Tegra and City Engineer Troy Nemmers will conduct the interviews. Reynolds said they’ll bring the information received from interviews back to the advisory board.

Nine companies that all had good and relevant experience sent in a proposal for the project, which Reynolds said she was happy with.

“That can’t mean everyone is booked two years from now or a year from now construction-wise,” Edmundson said.

He noted that with the costs going up, some people might stop projects which will potentially help costs get under control.

The three interviews set up are with ISG, JLG and 292 Design Group. All three of them have pool and ice experience.

If a selection is made and a contract put together, Reynolds said she would like to put it on the April 25 Fairmont City Council meeting agenda in order to keep everything on track time-wise.

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