UI to renovate pool at IMPE

By Kathleen Foody

Money set aside in the budget for the renovation of the University’s Intramural Physical Education building, commonly known as IMPE, will now be used to improve the building’s indoor pool.

The Board of Trustees approved amending the University’s agreement with VOA Associates Inc. of Chicago to include the pool’s renovation at their Jan. 18 meeting.

The amendment was proposed by Chancellor Richard Herman.

In a prepared statement, Herman wrote that the project is planned to be completed by the scheduled Phase II date of the renovation in late March of 2008.

According to the agenda for the Jan. 18 meeting of the Board of Trustees, a $77.6 million budget was approved by the Board in January 2002 for IMPE and Campus Recreation Center East renovations. The bidding process revealed that the funds would not be enough for construction and a redesign was completed.

The renovation of the pool was not included in that redesign.

The Board also approved an additional $5 million in February 2005, increasing the budget to $82.7 million.

Dede Caneva, associate director of customer relations and communication for the Department of Facilities and Services, said that all the funds for the project have come from the student fee fund, not from state funding.

“There is no new money from the state or other sources,” she said. “This money has always been there.”

Gary Miller, an associate director of Campus Recreation, said Campus Recreation was forced to keep some funds set aside should something unexpected occur during the construction, but at this point they feel secure in using that money to renovate the pool.

“If something had happened during construction and forced us to use that money, we would have had to reevaluate what we were doing in that pool,” he said.

Miller said the planned improvements are very necessary.

“You could build a pool like that in 1971, but not in 2007,” he said.

According to the Board’s agenda, the improvements will include a new air handling unit system, a new interior door entrance to the pool, windows along the west side of the building and a roof replacement.

Miller said there are also plans to make improvements in deck seating surrounding the pool, provided that companies bid on the project.

The current contractor for the IMPE renovation, VOA Associates Inc., may or may not take on the pool’s improvements, Miller said.

“Everyone who wishes to bid would be allowed to, and the low bidder would prevail,” he said. “So it could be the general contractor on-site doing the work right now, or it may be a different company.”