TRUCKEE, Calif. - After several years of discussion, surveys and public input, plans for a new aquatic center within the Truckee-Donner Recreation & Park District are moving forward - despite a financial roadbump.The project, which was estimated to cost $7.24 million, will cost an additional $333,000 due to fees from various public entities in the community, such as the town of Truckee, Truckee Fire Protection District and Truckee Sanitary District not being waived as originally budgeted."What makes me nervous is we haven't put a shovel in the ground, and we're already over budget," said TDRPD board chair Kristin York at the directors' meeting last Thursday.Mark Wilson, architect for the project and owner of Utah-based Innovate Architecture/Mark Wilson Architects, said that it was "unique" oversight, since those "soft cost" fees, based on his prior job experiences, are generally waived for municipal projects or quasi-government agencies.To make up for the unaccounted shortfall, proposed construction materials for the aquatic center will be looked at again with an eye toward reducing costs, he said. "Now that money is a larger factor than aesthetics ... we'll look at a different material in a place or two to try and see if we can find out the best solution to this problem," Wilson said. "We can sort through this."In related action, the TDRPD board approved SCO Planning & Engineering, Inc.'s proposal for $17,500 to prepare and process environmental documentation and a use permit for approval of an aquatic center addition at the Community Recreation Center site. SCO, based in Grass Valley, has a Truckee office.The board also directed staff to bid the main contract to a general contractor, but to separate various finishing touches so the district can bid them separately."What we're trying to do is generate as much local work as we possibly can," said Steve Randall, district general manager.Some of those projects would be landscaping for $18,000, interior and exterior painting for $92,000, and cabinets and countertops for $34,000, among others, totaling nearly $450,000 in potential local work, Randall said."We appreciate efforts to find ways to attract the local contractors," said Pat Davison, executive director of the Contractors Association of Truckee Tahoe. "Not only are you keeping the money local, but you have a workforce that knows the conditions, the rules and regulations."Bids for both project areas will likely go out in February or March 2014, Randall said in a follow-up interview.Construction is targeted to start in spring 2014, Wilson said, and will take between 10 months and a year to complete. The aquatic center is expected to open in spring or summer 2015, Randall said in a follow-up interview.When complete, the center will feature an eight-lane, 25-yard competition pool and a warm water pool with a lazy river for therapy purposes and play features for children, along with locker rooms and bathroom facilities.Performing arts projectIn January, the TDRPD board unanimously approved allocating $200,000 to a future performing arts project.To help determine how that money will be used, director Janet Brady and vice chair Erin Casey were appointed to sit on a board committee for the performing arts project that will seek public input.Truckee resident Michael Rogers backs using the funds to remodel the Community Arts Center, located at 10046 Church St. in Truckee."What I'm advocating for is a youth theater and arts academy that can help our young people have a place that they can come and rehearse plays and do arts and diversify from how concentrated we are in athletics," he said at last Thursday's meeting. "The arts reach something that athletics don't, especially for introverted kids. I think it's a really, really unique opportunity, and I think you as a board can - in essence - be patrons of that."
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