Aquatic Center Plans Millions Over Budget

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New cost estimates to build an aquatics center in the River Valley have come in over budget.

Sebastian County Judge David Hudson said a Larkin Aquatics, a design architect, helped create a plan which fell within the $8 million budget agreed upon and funded by Sebastian County and the city of Fort Smith. However, Flinco Constructive Solution, Tulsa-based construction firm with an office in Springdale, estimates the cost of the project based on current designs will amount to $11 million.

"Whenever we heard that number we asked the construction manager to work with the design architect to lay out what type of facility with the specific features that $8 million would allow us to construct," said Hudson.

Fort Smith Parks Director Mike Alsup said they are now re-evaluating the project design. He said this may include eliminating the diving well, as well as reducing the size of the pool and lazy river.

"One of the slides was going to be a larger slide where two or three people would go down on it on a raft together," said Alsup. "That one has been pulled out and a single slide has been put in."

According to Hudson, other adjustments may include reducing the number of filtration systems and redesigning the building housing the locker room and concessions.

Both Hudson and Alsup believe the aquatics center will benefit the community, even if they must forgo some features during construction.

"It'll be an asset to the area," said Hudson. "It will continue to promote quality of life in our region. It will serve everybody in Sebastian County."

Hudson said they hope to make a final decision about the plans before Thanksgiving, and assuming that deadline is met, the construction schedule should not be affected.

The next meeting of the Sebastian County Quorum Court is scheduled on Tuesday, November 19 at 7 p.m. in the County Courthouse.


  • Kevin's Bankrupt City

    8 million for a waterpark. This is more Kevin Settle BS. People in the area are going hungry, living on the streets.

  • arnold fudpucker

    Not 8 but 11 million. Have you ever heard of a gubbamint estimate being high? They figure you gotta get ’em on the hook first then set it with the real figure.

    Personally I think the waterpark would be a nice thing but cutting out a filtration system is the last thing to do. Let’s face it a lot of the folks that use these things aren’t exactly the most hygienic types. And then there are kids that just naturally let fly when the urge strikes. And none of this takes in to consideration the mischievous ones who repeatedly watched the opening scenes of “Caddy Shack” with the floating tur@

  • Paula

    It’s a perfect example of what a bunch of idiots we have running this city and country. It’s not like it came in a small percentage over budget so someone obviously didn’t have a clue what they were doing. They will be sure to sock it to us somehow you can bet on that. Until fort smith gets some people running it that have functioning brains it is never going to go anywhere. Lets build a waterpark so the few remaining employeed eople can use it.

  • hogfan

    And yet the city “idiots” have no problem with millions being spent on softball and baseball areas. Not everyone plays softball and baseball. Use the money to build an exceptional waterpark that ALL children can use.

  • Welfare Bubba

    The same thing is happening at Exide…bankruptcy. This Fort Smith company has filed bankruptcy under the failed leadership of Kevin Settle. The board is loaded with idiots but for some reason people vote people like Settle in. It must be all the big signs he spends 50,000.00 on every election period. He is destroying our city…look at the taxes now…the horrible roads….the police department cuts!!!!

  • Julie Martin

    Just out of curiousity, are the figures (and I mean specifics) available for the public to look at? Just would like to see what $8 million buys as opposed to what $11 million buys. And also see how much of this is “administrative costs”.

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