Planning commission OKs Truckee aquatic center |

Planning commission OKs Truckee aquatic center

Margaret Moran

TRUCKEE, Calif. — Truckee’s aquatic center project has cleared another important hurdle.

The town’s planning commission voted 3-1 Tuesday to approve its construction next to the Truckee Community Recreation Center — but not without some stipulations.

Among other requirements, the Truckee-Donner Recreation & Park District must:

• rename the rec center’s main entrance monument to the “Truckee Community Recreation and Aquatic Center”,

• create an off-site parking and shuttle program in case of large events; and

• adhere to a mitigation plan in the event trees identified for preservation die.

A matter of deep discussion among commissioners was the center’s exterior.

“It’s still very box-like,” said Vice Chair Heather Beckman. “It really hasn’t achieved the community character of the town of Truckee.”

Suggestions from commissioners include adding swooping and swirling exterior design elements to give the building more visual interest and a stronger association with aquatics.

“The economic realities of that is we just didn’t have the money for one thing to do something that would give that splash to it,” explained Mark Wilson, project architect and owner of Utah-based Innovate Architecture.

Most of the center’s estimated $7.2 million in funding is coming from money leftover from the rec center construction bid process in 2008, with $500,000 coming from district reserves, said Kevin Murphy, a TDRPD director and aquatics committee member.

“It’s not about the building; it’s about the water inside,” he said.

The aquatic center is designed to have a 25-yard, 8-lane competition pool; a diving area; and a 2,500-square-foot leisure pool, with a 70-foot current channel and 20-yard warm water lap lanes, among other amenities.

“The community is saying they want this project within the restraints,” said Commissioner Bruce Cornell. “Is it (the outside) perfect? No, for me it’s not, but the underlying thing is this is for the community.”

Cornell, Beckman and Commissioner Greg Buchheister voted in favor, while Commissioner Seth Kielas voted against. Chair Stephen Ramos was absent.

The project is expected to go out to bid later this month, with April 15, 2014, being the earliest construction can begin. The facility will be adjacent to the rec center at 8924 Donner Pass Road and could open in either the spring or summer of 2015.

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