An outdoor pool will be the anchor for a new athletics complex on Leitchfield’s southeast side.
With little fanfare, the Leitchfield Tourism Commission voted Friday, Dec. 21, to build a likely 8,500 square foot outdoor complex featuring more than 5,000 square feet of pool area and 3,500 square feet of changing rooms, offices and other support facilities.
Under the current design plan, the pool would have a zero-depth entry area, a large water slide and some other features for children, a “lazy river” area and two or three lap lanes off to one side. The complex would also include a pavilion area.
The vote came with two conditions: first, that Glasgow-based Alliance Corp. serve as the construction managers for the project. The firm is currently overseeing the construction of the new Walter Kelley Campus of Elizabethtown Community and Technical College, which is just up the street from the proposed pool site.
The second condition was that operating costs and debt service not exceed $300,000 annually.
Earlier in the week consultants Counsilman-Hunsaker projected site development, building the pool and other expenses such as permit fees would run about $2.6 million — still about $500,000 more than the commission had wanted to spend.
While the construction costs are over the commission’s $2.1 million threshold, operating costs and debt service would still be below the $300,000 annually the commission had wanted to devote to the project, the consultants said.
According to the consultants, the pool could generate about $129,000 per season in revenues — based on attendance estimates of about 20,000 people per season, roughly double that of the current pool — and would have about $140,000 in operating expenses. The consultants based those numbers, in part on admission fees ranging from $5 for children who live in Leitchfield to $8 for out-of-town adults.
That projected $11,000 shortfall is less than the current $40,000 subsidy Leitchfield provides its pool.
Construction on the new pool could begin as early as this summer, with an expected completion date of 2014.
In 2011 the commission, with the help of the city council, bought 30.55 acres across from the existing Carroll Gibson Boulevard, off Wallace Avenue. Besides the pool, they had discussed building more ball fields, a possible amphitheater, and a cross-country path on the land.
The land purchase was funded through a bond sale, handled through Leitchfield. Revenue from the city’s restaurant tax will be used to repay those bonds, as well as helping pay for the recreational complex.
The commission also:
* Accepted the resignation of commissioner Jose Soto. In a Monday, Dec. 17, letter, he had said he needed to step down immediately due to “circumstances beyond my control.”
* Voted not to pay for an asbestos study of the Alice Theater and Alexander Hotel, “due to changing circumstances” involving the efforts to restore the buildings.