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Sanger splash pad project moves ahead

Profile image for By John D. Harden / Staff Writer
By John D. Harden / Staff Writer

SANGER — Construction of a new splash pad to replace the obsolete city pool in Sanger moved closer with the City Council’s decision this week to award Fain Construction a contract to assist with the plans and eventual construction.

Crews will construct the pad, a type of water-based park feature, in Switzer Park and make other improvements at an estimated cost of about $520,000, city officials said.

Officials are hoping to have the splash pad completed and opened by the middle of this year.

Construction will also include the demolition and removal of the city’s swimming pool, City Manager Mike Brice said. The swimming pool has been closed for years because city officials deemed it too expensive to repair.

“Depending on the weather, the project should be completed by late summer or early fall,” Brice said.

Fain Construction will work with the city as the construction manager at risk, which means the company will be responsible for the overall planning, coordination and control of the project from beginning to completion.

The Fort Worth-based construction company will finalize plans and negotiate with the city for a maximum price for the project. The company will also bid the project to subcontractors. Once the subcontractors are chosen, construction will begin, Brice said.

“One advantage of using the [construction manager at risk] process is that if the project comes in under the [negotiated maximum price], 100 percent of the savings comes back to the city,” Brice said.

Other improvements related to the splash pad’s construction include the installation of two pavilions, landscaping and complete replacement of the walking trail. The current bathrooms will remain and will be remodeled by Sanger work crews.

City Council and staff members said the city needs the splash pad to improve the quality of life for residents.

Initially, a few residents were concerned about the city’s idea to build and operate a splash park, which they thought would be larger and unfit for the city.

Mayor Thomas Muir addressed those concerns and said the splash pad is not a typical water park with slides or deep water areas, he said.

He described the splash pad as a concrete park feature with drainage and water spraying elements.

He said the water is not likely to be more than 1 inch in depth. There’s also a cost benefit to the splash park, according to officials.

A lifeguard will not be necessary and the water will run only when in use. The park will have a lower ongoing maintenance cost and fewer safety concerns compared to a full pool.

The splash park was a part of a bond issue the city approved last year.

Council members approved the issuance of $4.5 million in certificate of obligation bonds during a meeting last summer.

Sanger’s financial adviser, Ted Christensen, told the council that it was a good time to issue debt because rates are at historically low levels.

Sanger officials plan to use the money to carry out a 10-year capital improvement plan that will include work on the city’s most distressed roads and water utilities and construction of the splash park.

City officials have discussed building a splash park for years, but the support wasn’t there because the economic downturn forced officials to postpone capital improvement projects.

But recently, several regional cities and Sanger began seeing slight bumps in revenue, leading officials to pursue citywide projects and improvements.

JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882 and via Twitter at @JDHarden.