Architect hired for swimming pool study

A long-range plan for the possible expansion of the John Vanderzicht Memorial Pool facility has taken its first step with the retention of ORB Architects to do a feasibility study and cost analysis.

North Whidbey Parks and Recreation District Commissioner Sally Dillon told fellow council members Thursday evening that three architectural firms made presentations and were interviewed by members of the selection committee Oct. 27 and 29, and the Renton firm was selected to provide the services.

Dillon said the reason O.R.B. Architects was selected is because the company does a lot more pools than either Heery International from Seattle and Zervas Group Architects from Bellingham, the other two companies that were interviewed, and has done a lot of work in the Pacific Northwest on similar projects.

“All three of them gave excellent presentations and I was really pleased with what they had to say,” Dillon said.

In addition, OHB has 40 years of experience with providing a large number of similar studies for clients and the company has project leaders with “experience, special training and methodology.”

“They have experience adding on to pools,” Park and Recreation Director Craig Carlson said. “You don’t usually find a company like that.”

Commissioner Harvey Prosser added that they have done some studies in the South Whidbey area.

“They have a good demographical knowledge of Whidbey Island and what the people want,” he said.

For the past several months, the North Whidbey Park and Recreation District has been exploring ideas for pool expansion sometime in the future.

No timetable has been set for when the project is to begin and no plans have been made about approaching the voters for the passage of a bond issue for funding.

The district had previously set aside $25,000 to fund the feasibility study and cost analysis, and commissioners decided to proceed in an effort to determine what would be required to construct a facility that would best suit the needs and interests of pool patrons and what the cost would be.

“The next step in the process is to work out an acceptable contract with ORB and proceed from there,” Carlson said.

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