The Clover school board approved a $17.8million bid to build an aquatic center in Lake Wylie during a special board meeting May 11.
After an executive session, school board members awarded the contract to Beam Construction Co. of Cherryville, N.C. The center was part of a construction package approved by voters in a March 2014 bond referendum.
The winning bid, which the board chose over three others, includes a base bid for the center plus a second floor and walking track, an outdoor 50-meter pool and a water park.
While an aquatic center is a new project for Beam Construction, executive vice president Robert Browne said “that in itself is a challenge but it’s the same construction we do every day.”
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Kelly Clayton with project managing company Cumming Corp. said he expects to have the order to proceed by May 22.
“We hope to break ground this month,” he said.
Clayton said the center is expected to be finished by Aug. 1, 2016. The final building plans show the center fronting S.C. 274 with parking, the main entrance and pool, and water park in the back.
Ken Love, chief finance and facilities officer for the district, said the winning contract is $360,000 more than planned.
“It’s slightly over what we had budgeted but well within our ability to complete it,” he said, explaining there is still $20million available for projects. “We’ll find a way where it won’t impact us.”
Beam Construction Co. in December was awarded the $29.7million contract for the construction of a middle school on 125 acres on Barrett Road in Clover. That project is underway and scheduled to open in 2016.
The district had planned about $14million for the aquatic center, including two 25-yard indoor pools and a fitness center, on S.C. 274 next to Crowders Creek Elementary School. It will be operated in partnership with the Upper Palmetto YMCA.
The district also has committed to build a $1.8million Olympic-size 50-meter outdoor pool, designed for competitive events, which was not part of the bond.
Superintendent Marc Sosne has said the school board plans to build it with leftover bond money or surplus capital funds.
The York County Council last month approved $1million in hospitality tax for the outdoor water park.
The hospitality tax money comes from a 2 percent charge on food and drinks in unincorporated areas of the county, such as Lake Wylie, and must be spent on tourism-generating projects.
The outdoor water park, estimated to cost $1.7million, is an additional feature paid for by the YMCA, and is intended to increase membership. YMCA leaders have been raising donations for months and have about $400,000 pledged toward the project.
The aquatic center is part of a $99million construction plan that includes five major projects, undertaken by the district after voters approved a $67million bond package in spring 2014.
The district is making a $32million down payment on the construction. So far, along with the middle school school and aquatic center, contracts have been awarded and construction underway on two other projects: $18.7million contract for Clancy & Theys Construction of Charlotte to build an elementary school on 35 acres on Oakridge Road in Lake Wylie, across from Oakridge Middle School, scheduled to open in 2016; and $3.1million contract for renovations at Clover High School’s Memorial Stadium and other athletic fields to Randolph and Son Builders of Pineville, N.C.
Catherine Muccigrosso • 803-831-8166