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Watch now: Bloomington council OKs $775,000 contract for aquatic center
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Watch now: Bloomington council OKs $775,000 contract for aquatic center

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BLOOMINGTON — Design work for the aquatic center on the site of the O'Neil Park Pool can soon begin. 

Council members on Monday approved a $775,000 contract with Williams Architects for design and construction management services. The Itasca company was chosen out of 14 firms that submitted qualifications to handle designing the new aquatic facility that will replace the 1515 W. Chestnut St. pool.

City officials previously said the 46-year-old pool far exceeded its life expectancy. Demolition began in September. 

Money for the design work comes out of the city's capital improvement fund. While the amount is $37,000 higher than originally designated for the design work, Jeff Kohl, parks project manager, said that other budgeted projects had been put on hold and pared down.

Council also Monday approved a $194,998 contract with P.J. Hoerr Inc., for construction of a building that would house vehicles and other large pieces of evidence. 

The building would be built within the police training facility near Arrowsmith on the site of the "lodge," which was used for storage. The building was demolished earlier this year because it deteriorated to the point that it was no longer usable, according to city documents. 

Interim Police Chief Greg Scott said evidence such as firearms would continue to be stored in a vault at the Bloomington Police Department.

Also approved was a $1.3 million project to extend Constitution Trail. 

Kevin Kothe, public works director, said the project would connect the Constitution Trail plan and the bike master plan.

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Two extensions are outlined in the project, including extending the trail from Lincoln Street to Bunn Street along the Norfolk Southern Railway, and then along Bunn Street to Hamilton Road.

The measure is part of an application seeking $1,041,228 in funding through the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program.

"It basically provides alternative sources of funding for walking, biking and trail projects," said Craig Shonkwiler, city engineer. 

The city would commit $342,557 if they were to receive the grant. Before the project can move forward, the council will have to give additional approval if they receive the grant. 

Ward 8 Ald. Jeff Crabil said he has some concern over the potential cost due to the economic impact of COVID-19. He said having the extra step of approval if the city receives the grant made him comfortable with voting for the resolution Monday.

Because of the grant requirements, the portion of the trail between Lincoln and Lafayette streets would be completed as a "planned, future, locally funded project," officials said. 

A planned future segment would complete the "backbone" that connects the south and west sides of the city.

Ward 7 Ald. Scott Black also Monday confirmed his last day with the council would be Oct. 31. Residents interested in filling the vacancy for the remainder of Black's term should contact Mayor Tari Renner by Oct. 16. Black's term was set to expire in April 2021. 

9 historic photos from The Pantagraph archives

Contact Analisa Trofimuk at (309) 820-3244. Follow her on Twitter: @AnalisaTro


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