Demolition of Yankton’s Fantle Memorial Park Pool is imminent, and with it will come a few disruptions to parts of the park that officials would like to make the public keep in mind.
Public Works Director Adam Haberman told the Press & Dakotan that work is set to really take off this month.
“The general contractor, Welfl Construction, closed the existing park/pool parking lot today (Monday) and barricaded it off,” Haberman said. “The fencing contractor will be here (Tuesday) to start installing the temporary construction fence around the existing pool area and future aquatics facility area. That will take them all week to get installed and put up, and then the demolition contractor will be in … next week to start demolition of the existing facility.”
As the winter progresses, Haberman said the contractor will likely start with some tree removal around the site, pavement removal on the surrounding sidewalks, removing fencing, demolishing the bathhouse and, finally, removing the pool itself.
Construction on the Huether Family Aquatics Center is planned to commence in the spring. A start date will largely depend on next spring’s weather.
City Manager Amy Leon said the work over the winter and spring is going to lead to some disruptions to the northwest quadrant of the park.
“Memorial Park is probably our most popular walking park,” Leon said. “People walk that sidewalk kind of like a track — myself included. … That’s going to be replaced, but for quite some time, we’re going to have portions of that blocked off.”
She added that, in additional to usual park users, officials want to make sure that kids who walk to area schools know how to get where they’re going safely when construction overtakes some of the park’s sidewalks and trails.
“We want to make sure that parents that send their kids to (Stewart) School, the middle school and the Boys & Girls Club know about that so they can work with their kids to find different routes to get to school,” she said.
Parks & Recreation Director Todd Larson said one major feature on the west side of the park has been spared potential closure during construction.
“The contractors were willing to keep the playground area outside of the fence,” Larson said. “We originally thought all of that was going to have to be fenced in and so people would lose access to that playground, but that is not the case. That’s a best-case scenario that the playground will stay open through most of construction.”
As for neighboring homes, Haberman said that one minor impact will be felt when the pool’s water is shut off for good.
“We will have to disconnect the existing water supply to the pool facility either this fall or in the spring,” he said. “That will cause a little bit of disruption of water service for folks in that area. That should be a pretty short-term effect.”
He said that all impacted residences will be notified ahead of time when it is determined the shutoff will occur.
Leon said there will be regular updates from the city throughout the project both through traditional media and social media.
The project contract states that major construction is to be completed by April 29, 2021, and officials are hopeful of an aquatic center opening around the time that the city’s pool has usually opened in the past.
Until then, swimmers will be directed to the pool at the Summit Activities Center.
Leon said the city is still working on scheduling for open swimming in the summer of 2020 and a ribbon cutting will be held for the beginning of construction on the new aquatic center next spring.
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