Construction of $30.7 Million Elk Grove Aquatics Center Approved, Work to Start This Summer

March 30, 2017 |

UPDATED 12:30 p.m

After several years of planning, construction of a $30.7 million aquatics center in Elk Grove is scheduled to start this summer. During a special meeting last night, by a 4-0 vote with Mayor Steve Ly absent, the Elk Grove City Council gave the green light to the project which will be the centerpiece of the City's long-planned Civic Center.

Located just south of Elk Grove Boulevard, the facility will include an Olympic pool with springboards and dive well, an instructional pool, a recreation pool with play structure, built-in seating, trellis structures, and three associated support buildings of approximately 15,400 square feet. The construction contract has been awarded to Arntz Builders.

As one of the City's largest capital improvement projects, the facility is funded exclusively by Mello Roos assessments on property owners in the 1,900-acre Laguna Ridge Specific planning area. Additionally, on-going maintenance of the center will be provided by those same Mello Roos assessments.

The $31.7 million price tag includes $12.2 million for Phase 1 of the Civic Center Commons which includes parking, landscaping, and other site enhancements for the future community center. The City Council also followed a staff recommendation to eliminate a reflecting pond as part of the aquatics facility to keep the project within budget. 

Beyond the aquatics center, near-term plans for the Civic Center include a community center that will house a Veterans hall and parks. 

The original plan for the center, as conceived by former Mayor Gary Davis, was to develop a world-class facility in hopes of drawing Olympic trials to the City as part of his vision to transform Elk Grove into a tourist destination. As envisioned by Davis, the facility would have included amenities such as a 10-meter diving platform and a water amusement park.  

Those plans were scuttled because of the $50 million price tag and complaints from residents in the Laguna Ridge area about potential traffic and noise from the water amusement park.

Although the center is expected to open by Memorial Day, 2018, the City has not identified an operator for the facilities. The Cosumnes Community Services District is currently in talks with the City to explore the possibility of operating the facility.

"Yes we are in discussion with the City about our agency operating the new Civic Center aquatics center," CCSD General Manager Jeff Ramos said. "The District is excited about the development of a new aquatic center for the residents of Elk Grove and look forward to partnering with the City on the operation of the aquatic center."

In October 2013 with Davis' vision for the center still under consideration, the City entered into a $695,000 contract with the now-defunct P3 International to identify financing sources and an operator for the facility. P3 and its principal Jeroen Gerrese was unable to accomplish either task, and the relationship ended with both parties suing each other.   

A spokesperson for the City said last night's special meeting, which occurred 24-hours before Ly's state of the City address, was scheduled "to take advantage of good weather" and get construction started two weeks earlier than had the matter been considered at their April 12 session. 

Update - It was originally reported that the CCSD was not interested in operating the facility. This was based on the most recent public information. The City of Elk Grove and the CCSD provided updated information on their discussions. 

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D.J. Blutarsky said...

Thank You Mayor Ly!! This is the kind of leadership we've been needing for a long time! When the weather turns hot, we now have a nice place to go to with our families. People say this is a developer's town, but they are wrong--not one developer dime was spent on this facility! It's all ours, forever and ever.

Eye on Elk Grove said...
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Eye on Elk Grove said...

Do we know the status of the P3 lawsuit mentioned? There are several lawsuits pending including developers Renyen and Bardis suing the city (ongoing for years) and now former EGPD officer Jeremy Lemire’s lawsuit which will most likely get very ugly.

The city of Elk Grove has never gone to trial on any lawsuit, opting instead to settle out of court. That is after outrageous legal fees have been paid to City Attorney Jon Hobb’s previous law firm, Kronick Moskovitz. Would love to know how much has been paid to Kronick since Hobbs left the firm.

Also, I wonder what the breakdown was with the CSD as they were interested in being the operator in the past? So much for working with our “sister agencies” as was stated at the Council retreat!

And though we do need amenities in the city, I still question having an aquatics center. There is a reason cities don’t have them, the deficit operational costs, the risk of lawsuits, etc. That land was originally earmarked for a sports complex; that is, until Davis’ orchestrated bait and switch the very night the two companies who responded to the sports complex RFP were giving their presentations at a council meeting. (How embarrassing that two companies spent all that money; only to be used as pawns.)

But silly me, we now have that 100 acres outside of the city limits for the sports complex – land that appears to have been bought to grow hay!

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