As the Selah Parks and Recreation Service Area Board and the city work out the design for the proposed aquatic center, some are calling for an inflatable dome to cover one of the pools.
SPRSA pared back its original three-pool plan after finding that increases in construction costs and an underestimate on some expenses put the plan beyond the $6.2 million bond voters approved in November 2015.
SPRSA recently approved a pared-down concept plan calling for two pools, including a 25-yard competition pool, with footings on one of the pools for a cover to be installed at a later time when funding is available. Work is expected to begin on the aquatic center in August.
Aimee Ozanich, a SPRSA board member, said an air-supported structure could cover the pool for a fraction of the cost of the retractable greenhouse-like structure SPRSA and the city are proposing.
An air dome would cost about $281,000, she said, and last 15 years, while the retractable dome from Dynadome Custom Pool Enclosures would run as much as $1.3 million. Also, she said inflatable domes have been used in the area before successfully.
While SPRSA will consider the option, Chairwoman Kelliann Ergeson said the city, which will actually operate the aquatic center, has insisted on using the Dynadome.
City Administrator Don Wayman said the Dynadome structure would better fit the aesthetics of Wixson Park, as well as not require a large number of trained people to set up.
The retractable structure could be opened and closed with the turn of a key, said Cihan Ozdemir, a Dynadome project engineer.
In Highland, N.C., where the town installed a retractable dome similar to the one proposed in Selah, recreation director Lester Norris said sunlight can heat the dome in the day as much as 90 degrees, even with an outside temperature of 38.
The inflatable dome at Yakima Athletic Club requires about 40 people to help put it up and take it down, said Carrie Sattler, the club’s general manager.
Another advantage of the inflatable dome, Sattler said, is that when it is removed, the pool is a true outdoor pool, with no structures blocking the view.