Aquatic center moves closer to completion; final bids approved

Ross Boettcher

The Ames City Council met Tuesday evening and approved the final plans for the Furman Aquatic Center, a decision that is sure to bring smiles to the faces of the water-wing-wearing youth and more notably, the McAninch Corporation of Des Moines.

With a closing bid of $451,672.10 for the aquatic center’s site preparation, McAninch dipped $151,863 below the city’s original budget of $603,672. Because the agreement with McAninch was the final bid approval needed to begin work on the Furman Aquatic Center, all contracts are expected to be closed by the end of November.

Nancy Carroll, director of Ames parks and recreation, said there is a preliminary timeline for the project that will be put into action.

“We’re thrilled that McAninch will be awarded the project because they are one of Iowa’s largest firms that do this type of work,” Carroll said. “There is final grade work that will happen in the spring after the earth is settled. By then we will be ready to begin construction later in the spring.”

Also on the council’s agenda Tuesday was the acknowledgment of safety parameters for the Hillary Clinton for President campaign coming Oct. 8. Clinton’s speech was initially scheduled as an early evening event, but due to transportation plans and other obligations, the time will be pushed back to between 7 and 7:30 p.m.

Lane Kasselman, Clinton campaign representative, said although the time frames may need to be flexible, the safety of Sen. Clinton, D-N.Y., is an issue that must be arranged between the Ames Police Department and Clinton’s secret service.

“Right now, Senator Clinton’s estimated time of arrival will be around 7:15 p.m., and she’s always on time,” Kasselman said. “In previous events we’ve done in various cities around Iowa, the secret service has limited in their requests of local law enforcement.”

Currently, there have been proposed closings around the west side of the Main Street Cultural District that will span from Clark to Douglas Avenues. While closings may seem like a simple issue, Kasselman said extended closures would be worst-case scenarios.

One variable that will have to be taken into play for Clinton’s speech will be the availability of natural light. As long as the senator’s estimated time of arrival isn’t pushed back further, the lighting provided by the Main Street Cultural District will be sufficient.