Interesting Math


Funny how Dunham can build a 276-unit apartment complex with underground parking AND an INDOOR pool for $22 Million. But it will cost the city $19 million to build a stand alone indoor pool.

Why is it when private enterprise does something it is about 4x cheaper then when the city does it?


#1 rufusx on 02.23.14 at 1:09 am

How big is this pool? Does it have 4 different segments (12 lane 50 M, Diving, therapy pool and recreational/splash/lazy river etc?)

Do your own math.

#2 l3wis on 02.23.14 at 1:23 am

Ruf, well duh, they are not building what the city is, but It often cracks me up when I see what ‘private developers’ are building for half the coin what the city is.

#3 toclayco on 02.23.14 at 7:53 am

There are lots of reasons you might oppose the indoor pool notion at Spellerberg. I have a host of them
An “apples and oranges” comparison of a small indoor saltwater pool (that’s what Dunham has done at other large complexes) in an apartment complex and an aquatic complex that involves pools (yes…poolS) including an 8-lane 50-meter pool, waterslide, lazy river, et al just demonstrates what has evidently become a really bad case of Huether Derangement Syndrome.
There’s enough real stuff out there to dislike, oppose, vote against. You don’t have to make it up. Or is the fever that bad?

#4 anonymous on 02.23.14 at 9:06 am

All information has been taken directly from the consultant’s report (see

Page 28: This is the scenario the consultant has recommended:

Option 5: Large Indoor 50 meter by 25 yard competition pool with springboard diving and a separate 3,750 sq. ft. indoor leisure pool with current channel, and waterslide.

Page 38: Capital Cost of a Large Indoor Pool

Project Cost $18,519,000 (this has increased to 19.4m per Director of Parks and Rec, Don Kearney-Council Work Session, July 17, 2013)


Operating Costs:


Revenue 355,823
Expense 1,048,552
Operating Cashflow -$692,729


Revenue 364,598
Expense 1,074,766
Operating Cashflow -$710,168


Revenue 373,483
Expense 1,101,635
Operating Cashflow -$728,152


Revenue 382,477
Expense 1,129,176
Operating Cashflow -$746,699


Revenue 391,582
Expense 1,157,405
Operating Cashflow -$765,824

The capital cost of the indoor pool ($19.4m) will require bonding.

#5 Big Guy on 02.23.14 at 12:33 pm

City giving kickbacks? That was the first thing popped in my head.

#6 Sullivan on 02.23.14 at 4:59 pm

Is this comparison really such a stretch?

Both of these projects are for the use / benefit of local residents. Such a comparo is a good reality check that puts the cost of a public project like this in context. It also illustrates needs vs. wants, value vs. extravagance, practical vs. folly. In short: common sense.

#7 l3wis on 02.23.14 at 7:30 pm

Okay, one more time, I get that what Dunham is proposing to build is not the same as the city. But it still makes you wonder how they can build such an enormous complex for $22 million?

#8 Lamb Chislic on 02.23.14 at 10:09 pm

Underground parking?!? Indoor pool?!?

I thought this site was so contaminated – with only limited potential – that Dunham needed a city TIF?

#9 Joan on 02.23.14 at 11:29 pm

What gets me is why when SWIMMING pools are mentioned, do they have to include water slides, lazy rivers, etc. Those items aren’t required for swimming, they are basically for playing.

#10 Sy on 02.24.14 at 10:09 am

Dunham is building pretty simple plan, using standard materials in the OSB, siding, shingles, windows etc.

TSP designed a facility for Spellerberg that addresses the site specific needs, and is also using more steel, concrete, glass etc. that will be engineered to last 75 years. There’s also better architectural details that will make the facility more appealing to both residents of the neighborhood, users and visitors.

You could build a big, metal box for probably $12-15 million, but that would just be a monument to cheapness and inefficiency, this town has enough of those.

#11 rufusx on 02.24.14 at 11:20 am

Sullivan – BIG STRETCH. Have you ever lied in an apartment complex with a pool? I have – one with THREE pools. No lifeguards, no lockers/bath house, no diving, a lot of features required at a pool accessible to the public that are not in place at a private pool. That’s before we even get to size.

#12 rufusx on 02.24.14 at 11:46 am

DL – When the city decides to build a 300 unit apartment complex somewhere – to compete with private businesses I the market – then you’ll have an actual apple/apple comparable. This isn’t even fruit vs. fruit. This is fruit vs. grain.

#13 Sullivan on 02.24.14 at 12:13 pm

Does anyone know how much the necessary excavation of the Spellerberg hillside for the proposed indoor pool there adds to the estimated construction cost, vs. identical construction at an alternative flat site? IE, contrast of construction costs ONLY aside from any difference in land acquisition cost.

#14 Sullivan on 02.24.14 at 12:51 pm

rufusx – I regret if I was unclear: I felt the comparison of large-scale interior space construction projects of similar cost provided a frame of reference worth considering. . . not merely the difference between indoor pools included in each.

#15 Progressive cents on 02.24.14 at 2:27 pm

Why is the park board and mayor refusing to look at the FREE land that is available at the Sanford Sports Complex for the Indoor Aquatic Facility? It has been reported that the complex would welcome a swimming facility there and the land is available for the asking….

There has to be a reason!!!!

It makes so much sense and it is the question I have heard from countless people.

Think about it:

-easy access from interstates and good access to the facility by driving or biking

-plenty of parking for swim practices and meets

-room for facility expansion

-restaurant/hotels being built near the site

-roads already wide enough to handle large crowds

-Let’s put this facility in a place that makes sense and of which we can be proud!

Vote “Yes” On April 8th to keep the outdoor pool at Spellerberg.

#16 rufusx on 02.24.14 at 3:04 pm

As Sy pointed out materials and methods make a huge difference. You can build a big plain farmer-style tin shack pretty cheap. Wanna live there?

Heck, you can dig a stock pond pretty cheap too. Let’s go swimmin’!! Watch out for the cow poop.

#17 Sy on 02.24.14 at 6:03 pm

SSC land isn’t free, it’s being marketed for sale by L3wis’ favorite company in town, Lloyd Cos:

@ Sullivan, the excavation expense will be minimal compared to the $2-4 million the City would need to come up with to buy a suitable site somewhere else. Plus, you still have $8 million to spend on an outdoor Spellerberg that gains us nothing over what’s there now with the exception of a couple waterslides and a lazy river.

@Prog the problem is barely anyone lives out by the SSC so getting there for most people is a 10-20 minute drive. That means your usage will be way down compared to other neighborhood aquatic centers.

Plus, as I’ve pointed out before, they are already projecting about 1 million visits a year now at the SSC for what’s already going in or built. I’m sure some parents will let Suzie take a swim while Johnny practices soccer, but otherwise it really isn’t that feasible unless you’re proposing a facility that’s strictly for competition practice and meets, like the hockey arena. The Aquatic center as designed is for mixed use, but primarily for recreational swimmers.

#18 Analog Kid on 03.03.14 at 11:38 am

Too bad the Mayor isnt a nut for Disc Golf.

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