Pool paint job: $450,000 | AspenTimes.com

Pool paint job: $450,000

Janet Urquhart

The swimming pools at the Aspen Recreation Center will be shut down for up to 90 days while the metal work in the pool area is repainted this fall.The City Council approved on Monday a $450,000 contract with Techno Coatings Inc. to do the work. Ed Sadler, assistant city manager, was directed to ask Techno Coatings how much more it would cost to get the work done ahead of schedule, so the pools aren’t closed for three months.The ARC hadn’t even been open a year when rust “blooms” first began appearing on the painted metal surfaces in the pool area. The city has sued Durrant Architects Inc. – lead architects for the facility – to recoup some $900,000 in alleged cost overruns. The defective paint is by far the largest single component of the city’s claims, according to Sadler.The city is putting up the money to fix the paint job out of its general fund, with hopes of recouping the expense from Durrant, either through an out-of-court settlement or a trial judgment. A trial in the case has been scheduled next year.Inspection of the paint job and other costs will boost the final bill to an estimated $470,000. All of the paint must be removed, the steel surfaces prepared and then coated with an epoxy finish.”What’s your feeling about the lawsuit? How strong is the city’s case?” Councilman Tim Semrau quizzed Sadler.An outside consultant brought in by both parties concluded the paint specs were to blame for the problem, so the city’s chances of prevailing on at least that claim appear strong, Sadler said.Recouping revenues that will be lost while the pools are shut down is less likely, the city’s legal counsel in the matter has advised. Sadler did not have an estimate of the projected loss in revenue.”It’s important to remember, the ARC is not closed during this period,” said City Manager Steve Barwick. “This is only the pool area.”The rest of the ARC, including the ice rink and Aspen Youth Center, will operate as usual.An intricate scaffold system will be installed to facilitate the paint job. The scaffolding will also be used to install sound baffling in the pool area once the paint work is done.Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is janet@aspentimes.com

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