Symptoms of springtime are in the air, including chirping birds, warmer temperatures and the sounds of construction.
The city of Cortez is breaking ground on two projects: one to renovate the municipal pool and the other to install a traffic signal at the intersection of West Seventh Street and South Broadway.
A more than $1 million renovation is planned for the pool, including new locker rooms, a new concession/entrance building, expansion of the facility to include grassy areas and a splash pad play area for children.
Demolitions began last week on the old locker rooms at the pool, which is scheduled to reopen to the public June 8, said City Parks and Recreation Director Dean Palmquist. The new splash pad play area is not scheduled to open until June 20.
The renovation comes at a time when the city is ratcheting down its budget. Palmquist said about 70 percent of the project is being funded by a Great Outdoors Colorado grant. Montezuma County, the Cortez Leopard Sharks swim team, Montezuma-Cortez School District Re-1, Kiwanis Club and nonprofit LiveWell Montezuma also are contributing to the project.
This project is about partnerships, Palmquist said in September. It comes at little cost to the taxpayers.
The pool does not make a profit, but is subsidized by the city as a service to the public, Palmquist said. While the facility does not make as much money as the golf course, he said it is a priority because it is on the citys master plan and is one of only two 50-meter pools on Colorados Western Slope.
The planned renovation will demolish the building east of the womens locker room, which will be turned into storage. New locker rooms for men and women will be built, as well as a separate locker room for families with small children. New offices, concessions and a new entrance in a new location on the east side of the facility will be erected.
The planned childrens splash pad play area will feature play equipment, water jets and a large water bucket. Plans for the splash pad area were drawn up with input from more than 200 children and parents, Palmquist said.
Lastly, the plan calls for extending the fence line of the facility 30 to 35 feet south, partitioning off existing park grass area for pool patrons. An additional grassy expansion is planned for the north end of the facility, Palmquist said.
Meanwhile, construction has started on the installation of a traffic light at West Seventh Street and South Broadway. The project is aimed at improving pedestrian safety at the intersection. Mesa Elementary School is nearby.
Construction is likely to close traffic lanes, and loads more than 10 feet wide are discouraged at the intersection between the hours of 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. weekdays. The project is scheduled for completion in June for a cost of more than $300,000.
Reach Reid Wright at email@example.com.