Rec-center could see repair projects

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The Englewood City Council gave consensus approval at the July 8 study session to replace two boilers and the lift at the Englewood Recreation Center, although the money is not included in the 2013 budget.

Mike Flaherty, deputy city manager, said no money is in the budget for these repairs, so the council will have to approve a supplemental appropriation of about $140,000 from the public improvement fund reserves to pay for the two projects.

The approval of the funding for the two projects is scheduled to be on the city council's July 15 agenda. The quick action is being taken so the two projects can be done during the rec center's annual weeklong closure for maintenance in August.

Dave Henderson, deputy public works director, brought the issues to the city council at the July 8 study session.

“We have three boilers at the recreation center. One is working OK, one is working on and off and the other isn't working at all,” Kahm said. “The recreation center uses hot water for the showers in the locker rooms, to keep the water warm in the pool and to heat the building in the winter. Right now, we have enough hot water to meet summer needs.”

He added that should the second boiler fail, there will not be enough hot water for regular recreation center operation. Also, there has to be two fully operational boilers in order to produce enough hot water to heat the building when it gets cold.

The estimated cost of replacing the aging equipment with two high-efficiency boilers is $110,000. The boiler that is still operating will be kept as a backup.

All three boilers are original equipment installed in 1984. Henderson said the life expectancy for each of the boilers is 25 years. Regular maintenance and repairs have made it possible to extend the boilers an additional five years.

Another issue is the lift that provides handicapped access to the second floor of the recreation center.

There have been repeated calls to repair the aging lift. Rick Kahm, public works director, said the lift was installed in 2000 and is wearing out.

“The lift operates on a screw-type system When the car stops between floors with someone in it, staff members have to manually crank it down to the ground floor,” he said. “We have had individuals trapped in the elevator between floors for as long as 45 minutes.”

Kahm noted the company that services the elevator proposed replacing it with a more efficient hydraulic system at a cost between $25,000 and $30,000.