The final design proof of Fairground Pool upgrades was reviewed by the Mexico City Council on Monday in a work session.


The city has worked with Westport Pools of Maryland Heights since October on the design-build project that will add more features to the pool, while rearranging its footprint. Construction is expected to start after the July 4 holiday.


There have been changes to the plan since a February public meeting.


City staff were exhaustive in their research of what upgrades and features were feasible under the city’s budget, Westport President Ryan Casserly said.


"One of the significant changes was to the bathhouse structure," he said.


The pool currently has a more traditional bathhouse with locker rooms, showers, sinks and toilets. The updated concept includes individual restroom units, rather than communal, Casserly said.


"These are easier to operate and will save on operational and capital costs," he said.


A majority of pool usage is for leisure and recreation, according to aquatic surveys, Mexico Parks and Recreation Director Chad Shoemaker said.


There is a swim team, so team needs were included in plans. Originally, the plan included a six-lane 25-meter pool for swim meets. Updated plans have four lanes, Shoemaker said. This still will allow for competitions in the lane pool.


A fence to close off the lane pool from the rest of the pool remained in the plans.


A drop slide, where users end up in the water from a height above the pool, was nixed due to cost.


"The drop slide was something like $138,000 and in the end we just couldn’t swing it," Shoemaker said.


A water basketball zone and a rental pavilion also were removed from the plans.


Younger survey respondents were more interested in a diving board, anyhow, Shoemaker said, which is included in the final plan proof. A climbing wall and aquazip line, spray features, hand rails for disabled access, more shade and baby bungee still are in the plans. The design includes extra water piping to plan for any future feature additions.


The final plan is currently $26,328 less than the $3.5 million budget, but some outstanding items remain. Final water system upgrade costs to sanitize COVID-19 virus particles are in the range of $124,000. Park staff has requested Coronavirus Aid, Economic Recovery and Safety, or CARES Act, funding for this upgrade to operate the pool more safely due to ongoing public health concerns.


The city also is waiting to hear if it has received a $250,000 grant from the American Water Foundation for the construction of the proposed splash pad. They city will know by Tuesday if it was awarded the grant.


If awarded, it means further final plan changes with regard to the location and operation of the splash pad amenity. The grant may reduce an annual payment out of the park fund to pay for pool upgrades, Shoemaker said.