Don Ganje presented the Como Park swimming pool design passed by the design task force to the Saint Paul Parks and Recreation Commission, July 15, 2009. They voted to pass the plan on to the mayor.
Future fate of Como Park swimming pool is on Parks Commission agenda.
The Como pool planning committee approved for final report preparation the refined schematic design that was presented Monday, April 20.
A detailed report (140 pages) was released last week. You can download it by clicking this link (warning, this is a 17.4 MB PDF report on the “Como Park Regional Pool Replacement”) It might take 10 minutes or more to download.
This report now goes to the Parks & Recreation Commission who will meet July 15 at 6:30 pm. at Hazel Park. I believe citizens will be allowed 3 minutes to voice opinions about the Como Park pool replacement plan.
The Parks & Recreation Commission then makes a recommendation to the Mayor of Saint Paul. The Mayor looks at it and judges whether it meets the Park’s Master Plan guidelines. The Mayor then sends the plan to the Saint Paul City Council who has the funding authority to pay for the project.
Where is the money coming from for the Como pool?
Money to pay for the Como Park pool replacement was to come from C.I.B. funds. My understanding is that Capital Improvement Budget funding is borrowed money. Bonds are sold to raise this money, then must be paid back from taxation.
Starting in early 2009, the CIB Committee began the process of developing the 2010 and 2011 capital budgets by reviewing project proposals submitted by City departments, district councils, and neighborhood organizations.
The CIB committee recommendation was to limit borrowing to about $20 million. Their rankings and how they were ranked is explained on the City of Saint Paul web site.
- Community Facilities Task Force Final Rankings
- Streets and Utilities Task Force Final Rankings
- Residential and Economic Development Task Force Final Rankings
Did the Como Pool Replacement make the cut?
According to a PDF download titled “2010 – 2011 CIB Tentative Recommendations.pdf” on a District 10 webpage Como Pool Replacement was not included for funding
I think this complicated process is only to provide advice. I believe Mayor Coleman can choose to propose a budget differing from the CIB committee’s recommendations. Will he? That step is scheduled for Aug 5 or 12?
N.O.P.E. – (Neighbors Opposing Park Exploitation)
Several Como Park residents, including the two members on the Pool Design Task Force who voted “No” to the proposed plan, feel that the public needs to know what is being proposed and have the opportunity and the time to react. These quotes are from some e-mails:
*It appears that mega-development is being pushed with no direct public input opportunity to react to these plans.
*The Task Force process was flawed . . . No discussion was made of other sites and their merits (or lack thereof) . . . Como Park is featured out, struggling to deal with the features that already exist.
*Important questions related to the pool design remain unanswered. Chief among them are:
- What is the impact on the overall park?
- What is the impact on traffic in and around the park?
- What happens if the future phases are delayed or not completed at all – what is the risk (to the park/neighborhood) associated with delays or denials?
- Were other sites within the city considered – why Como Park?
- In effect, can the park accommodate the increased traffic assoicated with the additional bathers who will use the new pool?
*I think it is VITAL that those interested in Como Park, the comoparkalliance etc. consider finding ways to:
- have a more public process for developing an updated 2009 Park Master Plan.
- have a presentation of projected plans in the Campus area for the next 5-10 yrs. so those plans may be integrated with the overall park plans.
- find a way, as the Dist 10 Environment Committee did with the lake, for Como Park or at least the Parkland to be given an able steward.
The Como Pool design task force voted to approve for final report preparation the refined schematic design that was presented Monday, April 20.
Overall site relationships
Project manager, Don Ganje, first discussed the overall site, the proposed street realignments, access, parking, trails, facility location with relation to Como Woodland, etc. Click on the thumbnail photos to see them larger. A high quality (HQ) version of the video is available by double clicking on the video to go to the You Tube site, then click the “HQ” and full screen icons (lower right corner).
The individual pool layouts, splash/wading pool, multi-use pool, lazy river+, were next shown by USAquatics / AKA consultants.
Architectural renderings of the buildings and detailed floor plans were presented by USAquatics / AKA consultants.
Costs (broken down by elements) and bather loads, attendance, and income projections
Click on photos to see projected costs. The consultants also projected expenditures broken down for each component. The last photos show staff recommended bather loads and projected revenues. The video is of the consultants walk though of the projected costs broken down for each area.
Questions and comments
Please use the comments area to ask questions or to voice your opinions. I will pass them on to the design team.
The Como Park swimming pool replacement design process began with the the formation of a design task force made up of community members, city staff and external aquatic consultants.
The process to design a replacement for the Como Park swimming pool began Oct., 2008.
The design task force members brainstormed and voted on key concepts.
Project manager Don Ganje presented design concepts his team thought the group was asking for (4 pg PDF). The committee was told to voice their opinion, yes or no, as they went through these lists.
A 2 day design “charrette” was open for community input. Five design concepts were presented on day one. Based upon feedback and comments, two design concepts and 6 pool features were voted on during the second day.
Parking and traffic circulation was also addressed (Don Ganje presentation in video below).
Consultants from US Aquatics, Anthony Kell Architects, City Parks Design Staff, Lynn Waldorf, and others collaborated to come up with a draft schematic design which was presented at the March 26 meeting (video below). After comments the design was approved for further detailing.
A process to replace the Como Pool
Last fall the City of Saint Paul explained the process for redeveloping the Como Park swimming pool. The adjacent Woodland Classroom and McMurray Field area along with their parking and traffic needs will be included. You can learn more by clicking the link below.
The Como Pool Planning Committee members are providing input to US Aquatics, Anthony Kell Architects, and the City Parks Design Staff & Planning Committee. One activity was to choose key words describing what they wanted. The twelve members were then told to “vote” for their top four choices via colored stickers. (Clicking on the photo makes it larger.)
At the third planning session, project manager Don Ganje presented design concepts his team thought the group was asking for. The committee was told to voice their opinion, yes or no, as they went through these lists. (These lists should show up on the city website soon)
Como Park Alliance
A group of people with an interest in preserving, maintaining, and helping Como Park have created an organization called the Como Park Alliance. Their mission is:
To preserve the park’s rich history and natural environment to ensure the integrity of the park for the future through partnerships, proactive activities and education.
The Como Park Alliance started with some neighbors who wanted to have a voice in what happens in the park, and is now extended to anyone anywhere who has an interest in helping the park achieve mutual goals. The Como Park Alliance website has a link to a Como Park Monitor article describing how Rhonda DeBough-Insook initiated the creation of the Como Park Alliance.
Como Park Pool Survey
The Como Park swimming pool will likely be closed for the 2009 season. The pool is in disrepair and needs some major work. A decision whether to repair or perhaps start fresh with a new facility needs to be made. A Saint Paul Park and Recreation task force will be created to assess the Como Park pool situation and to make recommendations about options. The Como Park Alliance wants to provide input from its community.
A Como Park Alliance pool subcommittee drafted a survey and distributed it to neighbors East and West of the pool area. The survey can also be filled out on the Internet or printed from a pdf file. They are asking for the survey to be returned by Aug. 15. The drop off is to be at 1168 Lexington Pkwy N. (C. Daly’s residence) The survey was designed to be compared with a survey already done city wide in 2005. They feel that the results of this survey, when properly analyzed, will allow them to speak confidently about neighborhood sentiments to the task force this fall.
District 10 Como Community Council
The Como Park Alliance shares many of its goals with the District 10 Como Community Council and hopes their united efforts can impact the decisions made effecting Como Park. Como Park Alliance representatives regularly attend District 10 meetings.
The City of Saint Paul is considering options for the site that contains the Como Park pool, which is in District 10 but adjacent to District 6. The pool was closed at the end of last summer because of emergency repairs and is unlikely to be opened next season without major repairs or replacement.
I am a member of a “pool committee” which belongs to the Como Park Alliance. I am including a draft of our pool committee report below.
Pool Committee Report
Como Park Pool to be closed for 2009 season
The Como Park swimming pool will likely be closed for the 2009 season. The pool is in disrepair and needs some major work. A decision whether to repair or perhaps start fresh with a new facility needs to be made.
A task force will recommend options
Saint Paul Park and Recreation plans to create a task force this fall to assess the Como Park pool situation and to make recommendations about options. This task force is to include representatives from the neighborhood, from District 6 and 10 Community Councils, and other affected parties.
The Como Park Alliance wants input
The mission of the Como Park Alliance is to preserve, maintain, and help Como Park. We are working to stay informed with what is happening in Como Park, to communicate our concerns to those who operate it, and to offer assistance where we can.
2005 Feasibility Study of St Paul Aquatics Facilities
We are appreciate that the city allowed us to see a copy of the Feasibility Study for City of Saint Paul Facilities (July 1, 2005). This 64 page pdf arouses some concerns. This quote from the executive summary (pg 3),
“…Any renovation or replacement of existing aquatic facilities or construction of a new aquatic park should be built to accommodate at least 1,500 to 2,000 person bather load capacity. … the consulting team feels the City of Saint Paul would be best served by transitioning the Como Pool into an aquatic park.”
Their plan differs from our vision of what is appropriate for Como Park. You can see the initial draft version of the design concept for Phase IV (click twice to view large).
We will distribute a survey to Como Pool neighbors
The Pool Subcommittee has drafted a survey and will distribute it to neighbors East and West of the pool area. The survey can also be filled out on the Internet or printed from a pdf file. (provide links) We are asking for the survey to be returned by Aug. 15. The drop off is to be at 1168 Lexington Pkwy N. (C. Daly’s residence) The survey was designed to be compared with a survey already done city wide in 2005. We feel that the results of this survey, when properly analysed, will allow us to speak confidently about neighborhood sentiments to the task force this fall.
Como Park Alliance Pool Committee