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The Wm. L. Welch Pool Renewal
Project Planning Timeline

Page updated July 2011

September 2005:
With the approval of the COG  General Forum, the Authority applied for a $33,000 grant to prepare a Master Site Plan for the renewal of Wm. L. Welch Community Swimming Pool. The grant will be matched with $33,000 in local municipal funds.
July 2006:
PA DCNR announced their approval of the Master Site Plan grant. The Authority will proceed with finalizing the master planning process, selecting the consultant(s) and then develop the Master Site Plan over the next year.
February 2007:
Working with the participating municipalities, the Authority developed and presented to SCASD a proposed 25-year lease for the lands under the Welch Pool facilities. Once the lease is approved by the District and the Authority, the Master Site Planning can begin.
March 2007:
The draft lease for Welch Pool was approved by the Centre Regional Rec. Authority and the COG Ad Hoc Regional Parks Committee for presentation to SCASD.
April 2007:
On 23 Apr 07, the State College Area School District Board of Directors unanimously approved the lease of the 3.41 acres of land under Welch Pool to Centre Region Parks & Recreation Authority. The 25-year lease terms are for $1 per year, with an option to extend the lease by 10 years. The lease will be executed, recorded and furnished to PA DCNR. Once reviewed, PA DCNR will authorize the Master Site Planning Process to begin for the renewal of William Welch Pool.
June 2007:
On 14 Jun 07, the Authority approved contracts to engage the consultant team of HP Architects and Counsilman-Hunsaker Associates to prepare the Welch Pool Master Site Plan. This is the same firms that developed the Park Forest Pool Master Site Plan. The total cost of the Welch plan will be $66,000.  The Master Site Plan project is being funded by five Centre Region COG municipalities and by a $33,000 grant from the PA DCNR "Keystone Recreation, Park & Conservation Fund" (DCNR Project #BRC-TAG-12-229). Planning meetings will get underway this summer.

July & August 2007:
• Based on the actions to date, PA DCNR approved the planning project to proceed.
• On Monday, 23 Jul 07, the consultants addressed the COG General Forum about the upcoming process to develop the Master Site Plan for Welch Pool.
• On Tuesday, 24 Jul 07, two public meetings (MEETING ROSTERS) were held based upon:

1. 24 Jul 07 Agenda (in PDF format; will open a new window on your browser)

2. A PowerPoint Presentation narrated by Todd Roth and Scot Hunsaker: Posted HERE in HTML format. The slide show will open in a new browser window.

3A. 24 Jul 07 Summary of the 3:00 PM Meeting
(The Welch Pool Swim Team parents were also invited to this meeting since they were hosting the Park Forest Swim Team that evening.)

3B. 24 Jul 07 Summary of the 7:00 PM Meeting

4. Emails and letters received regarding the meetings (updated 15 Aug 07). In addition, during August a survey was distributed to CRPR KidVenture Campers and Welch Pool Swim Team members on their preferences for the Renewed Welch Pool. Those results are posted HERE.

September 2007:

• On Monday, 24 Sep 07 at 3:00 PM the consultants presented the various plan options & costs to the Rec. Authority and the Project Advisory Committee. That Special Meeting of the Authority was scheduled for 3PM at the COG Bldg. Forum Room, and was open to the public.

• On Monday, 24 Sep 07 at 7:30 PM the consultants presented the various plan options & costs to the COG General Forum at the Halfmoon Twp. Bldg. As usual, this meeting was open to the public.

• On Tuesday, 25 Sep 07 at 7:00 PM the consultants presented the various plan options during a COMMUNITY MEETING at the COG Building Forum Room. Comments were welcomed.

1. 25 Sep 07 Meeting Notice (in PDF format) / 25 Sep 07 Community Meeting AGENDA (in PDF format).

2. Consultant's Presentation: Will open in a new browser window; not recommended for dial-up connections. Due to the size of the some of theimage files, please allow for adequate download time.

        Full Version in HTML format, 55 slides, 15 MB total.
        or 
        Abridged Version in HTML format, 36 slides, 8 MB total. This version provides the five options only.
        or
        Full Version in PDF Format, Size: 4 Mb, black & white format (Adobe Reader required)

3. Meeting Summary posted 1 Oct 07

4. Meeting-related letters and emails updated 4 Oct 07.

October 2007:

• During October, each of five participating municipalities reviewed and selected the proposed concepts / costs. They were asked to relay their selection to the COG Executive Director by 6 Nov 07.

November 2007:

• During November the municipal selections were compiled and provided to:
- The Centre Regional Rec. Authority meeting on 8 Nov 07, 12:15 PM in the COG Forum Room.
- The COG General Forum on 26 Nov 07, 7:30 PM at Ferguson Twp. Bldg.

The five participating municipalities each selected Option 3 and the COG General Forum then approved a motion that authorized Concept Option 3 with a not-to-exceed cost of $5.4 million. The selected concept will now be used by the consultants to develop a draft Master Site Plan which evaluates the various placements (layouts) of the selected concepts onto the site and includes the typical features shown on a Master Site Plan.

Now that a Concept Plan is selected, the shared parking and access plan must be finalized - so that the Master Site Plan can be completed (by Fall 2008). The schedule will work towards a construction start date of early-August 2009 and a reopening of a renewed Welch Pool in May/June 2010.

March 2008:

SHARED PARKING AGREEMENT: The architects are continuing to develop proposed layouts (on the site) involving the approved concepts. Since shared parking and access are prime considerations, in February the Authority authorized discussions with SCASD (as the landowner) regarding those factors. The finalization of the Master Site Plan and a Shared Parking Agreement can then proceed based upon the resolution of these discussions. Shown below is Concept #3 as selected by the five participating municipalities:

WP Layout
Note: The specific locations of the facilities shown in this Concept Plan
were modified as the planning process continued.

Click HERE to review the final draft of the Master Site Plan.

FINANCING: The COG General Forum and the five participating municipalities approved the necessary ordinances to obtain financing for both pool renewals (Park Forest Pool and Welch Pool).  As a result of a public bid process, on 19 Mar 08 the COG Finance Committee unanimously approved a bid from Jersey Shore State Bank, Jersey Shore, PA, to finance $7.9 million for 20 years at 3.95% fixed. Prior to that action they had compared the bank note bids with current municipal bond rates, and elected to proceed with the bank note. At their 10 Apr 08 meeting, the Authority approved a resolution to execute the necessary documents to obtain that capital project financing.

April 2008:

On 1 Apr 08, the Authority hosted a JOINT WORK SESSION (Agenda HERE in PDF) with the COG Ad Hoc Regional Park Committee and the SCASD Board of School Directors to focus on the two pool renewal projects as well as the proposed shared parking and access proposed by the Welch Pool Master Site Plan. A PowerPoint presentation (available HERE) was made that reviewed the long history of Municipal - School cooperation in community parks and recreation and made four specific requests to the District. Discussions on the candidate Shared Parking and Access Plan will now proceed so that work on the Welch Pool Master Site Plan can continue. The SCASD Board then invited municipal officials to attend their 14 Apr 08 meeting to discuss the requests related to Welch Pool.

On 10 Apr 08, the Authority (Meeting agenda here) approved a resolution authorizing staff to submit a grant application to PA DCNR for $400,000 in funding assistance towards the $5.4 million pool renewal project at Welch Pool. It is proposed that construction at Welch Pool begin in early-August 2009.

July 2008:

The SCASD Board of School Directors invited municipal reprentatives to their 14 Jul 08 meeting to resume discussions about the proposed Shared Parking & Access for the renewed Welch Pool. A PowerPoint presentation was presented (available HERE; not recommended for dialup connections due to the large size of some of the images). The Board agreed to appoint a subcommittee to meet with the municipal officials to discuss and prepare a recommendation for action. 

August 2008:

PUBLIC MEETING:  A joint meeting of the appointed committee representatives by the following organizations was held to discuss the Master Site Plan for the renewal of the Wm. L. Welch Community Swimming Pool (specifically, the shared parking and shared use of the changing rooms):
• State College Area School District Board of School Directors,
• Centre Region Parks & Recreation Authority,
• COG Ad Hoc Regional Park Committee.
The meeting was held on Tuesday, August 5, 2008, 7:30 PM at the Centre Region COG Building.
MEETING AGENDA (PDF)

November 2008:

The Authority and the five municipalities are finalizing draft agreements to be presented to State College Area School District related to (1) shared access and parking on SCAHS - South lands for Welch Pool and (2) shared use of the new pool bathhouse by school sport teams.

In response to the grant application submitted in April, PA DCNR announced on 18 Nov 08 their approval of a $375,000 grant towards the Welch Pool Renewal.  A concept plan (#3) was selected in Nov. 2007 by the COG General Forum with a maximum project cost of $5.4 million.

•As a result, the Authority will be able to resume the completion of the Welch Pool Master Site Plan and then start preparing the plans and specifications so that bids can be received in late-Spring 2009. The schedule is to close Welch Pool on Sunday 2 Aug 09 so that demolition can begin.

January 2009:

A Public Hearing was held at 7 PM on Thur. 15 Jan 09 at the COG Building Forum Room to receive comments on the final "Welch Pool Master Site Plan."  The plan has been developed around "Concept Option #3" as approved by the five participating municipalities. Since that concept approval, the Authority has obtained local financing for both pool renewals, continued work with SCASD to finalize the shared access and parking for the new pool, and obtained a state grant of $375,000 for the project.  AGENDA (PDF)   MEETING SUMMARY (PDF)  Click HERE to review the Master Site Plan.

February - April 2009:

During February and March, discussions have continued between municipal and school district officials with respect to finalizing the formal agreements based upon the agreed "Principles of Agreement (PDF)."
After extensive discussions, the final versions of two agreements were fully adopted by the CRRA and the SCASD Board of School Directors by mid-April:
(1) Shared Parking and Access Agreement (PDF) and
(2) Bathhouse Use Agreement (PDF).
As a result of those agreements, the Authority will continue with the project planning.

View the 27 Apr 09 Presentation to the COG General Forum for Welch & Park Forest Pools

May - June 2009:

During May and June the detailed planning process continued, including finalizing the proposed realignment of the Orchard Park Bikeway where it crosses the lands leased by the Recreation Authority from SCASD. The relocation of the path was proposed to provide more area for pool patrons.  The easement for the bikeway was executed in 1995 between State College Borough and SCASD. On 15 Jun 09, Borough Council unanimously approved the modifications to the easement agreement to permit the realignment. The proposal will now be presented to the SCASD Board of Directors for action.

At their meeting on 11 Jun 09, it was necessary for the Authority to adjust the project schedule. It is expected that bids will be accepted during August. As a result, Welch Pool remained open through Labor Day 2009 with construction beginning in the fall.

July 2009:

The MASTER SITE PLAN was submitted to PA DCNR indicating official approval by the Authority.

The architects and staff continued work on developing the detailed plans and construction documents.

The Recreation Authority continued discussions with SCASD and State College Borough regarding the Authority-proposed relocation of a section of the Orchard Park Bikeway across the pool-leased property as shown on the approved Master Site Plan. At the Authority meeting on 9 Jul 09, a project schedule was presented by HP Architects that indicated an August 2010 opening of the new facilities.

August 2009:

HP Architects presented an updated Project Schedule (PDF) to the Authority Board, which schedules construction of Welch Pool from mid-October through September 2010.  This means that Welch Pool would not open during Summer 2010, but rather for the Summer 2011.

September & October 2009:

PLANNING PHASE COMPLETED: The Welch Pool Master Site Plan Report (2.2 MB PDF) was updated to reflect PA DCNR suggestions and this phase of the project was closed.

Bids were advertised during October and opened on 28 Oct 2009.

November & December 2009:

Bids were awarded by the Authority on 5 Nov 2009. After processing the necessary documents, site work began in mid-Dec.

The Authority Board and staff proceed with actions to better accomodate the public at Park Forest Pool and by expanding the rental of the High School Natatorium for Summer 2010, since Welch Pool will not open due to the construction project.

CONSTRUCTION PHASE PHOTOS:
The Welch Pool Renewal Plans and Construction Updates page is posted HERE.

May 2011 - The Grand Reopening:

The renewed Welch Pool Complex reopened (to rave reviews) on Sat. 28 May 2011.

The CRPR Authority is a publicly-funded, municipal agency serving 5 municipalities. The Authority also maintains 501c3 status.
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The Centre Region Parks & Recreation Authority
2643 Gateway Drive #1 , State College, PA. USA 16801   (814)231-3071   Fax 814.235.7832