AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Amarillo's former North Branch YMCA is closer to opening as the Charles E. Warford Activity Center.
Now that the facility is free of asbestos, construction and renovations are set to begin soon.
First up is the indoor swimming pool.
Tuesday evening the Amarillo City Council approved a $488,031 contract to renovate the pool at the center.
"The pool was built in the 1960s, so we're dealing with a pool that had cast iron drain lines, cast iron pipes, and of course cast iron and chlorine don't mix," said Jerry Danforth, Director of Facilities and Capital Projects for the City of Amarillo. "So we've had some corrosion, some leaks in the pool. We're addressing those, relining the pool, and reconditioning the pool to bring it to current standards."
Construction on the pool is expected to begin in about 6-8 weeks.
Staff is already beginning for the next phase, which is expanding the north side of the activity center.
"That will be some classrooms, a police station where they'll have staging there, and then also ADA accessible roots will be in place for that for both the pool and the recreational facilities," said Danforth."
Building plans are still not finalized, he said, because city staff has not yet decided which programs will be offered at the activity center.
"We're working on several grants for after school care, childcare, computer labs, additional educational facilities in there as well, so all of those are all being incorporated in the designs," said Danforth. "Once those are fully finalized, then we'll expedite that rather quickly and move forward."
At previous community engagement meetings, residents said the greatest needs for the center were the pool and the gym.
Those are both scheduled to be open by the end of October, and Danforth said staff is hoping to have the entire activity center finished and ready for use by the end of this year.