By Garrett Estrada
Ely Times Staff Writer
The $5 million White Pine Aquatic Center, an indoor pool project, is scheduled to open on July 1 for the public to check out the facility. Full operations and swimming will be available on July 4, according to White Pine County Commission Chairman John Lampros. The chairman added the project was coming in under budget enough to add solar panels on the roof to help reduce operating costs.
“The pool has blown away our expectations,” Lampros said.
Steve Jensen of Core Construction said work on the facility is progressing smoothly. Once open, the facility will feature a full-size Olympic swimming pool as well as a one-foot deep shallow pool for young children to play.
“The pool starts at four feet deep then transitions down to five and then nine feet,” Jensen said. “Right now it looks like the water will be going in it by the end of April.”
Core Construction is currently in the process of painting the facility. Once the paint dries, they will be able to lay concrete to form the floors inside. Jensen called the involvement of the county a “good partnership” and the weekly meetings with county representatives have helped the project avoid any stumbling blocks.
He said ìvalue engineeringî allowed Core to come in under budget, which enabled the addition of the solar panels. He estimates the energy gathered by the panels should ìoffset a third of the power bill each month.î
Jensen also pointed out there will be an extra ìmeeting roomî that will be able to host groups and parties. In addition to having access to the pool, Jensen said the room is also planned to have a projection screen set up, so businesses could theoretically go through a power point in their board shorts or kids could watch movies.
“I really do think that this is going to be an area that if you wanted to have your kid’s birthday party here, you could rent this room,” Jensen said.
County Commissioner Richard Howe said he’s excited to have the pool become a new place for people of all ages to go, whether it be for exercise or just as a social activity.
“It is going to be another piece of the community that will add to the quality of life,” Howe said.
The White Pine County Commission unanimously voted to approve the pool on May 14, 2013. The project broke ground on June 24, 2013.