S.F. public pool repairs will have to wait

City residents frequenting the Hamilton Recreation Center and Pool in the Western Addition may have to wait a little longer for much-needed renovations after bids for the project came in over budget.

The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department is recommending that the Recreation and Park Commission reject both bids on the proposed $15.9 million project.

The lowest bid was at least $800,000 more than The City had budgeted for renovations including new floors and bleachers for the recreation center’s gymnasium and a complete renovation of the pool, Rec and Park spokeswoman Rose Dennis said.

The lowest bidder also failed to make insurance, liability and Human Rights Commission requirements, Dennis said, so the department could not legally do business with them.

“It’s really stiff working for The City,” Dennis said of the requirements contractors must meet before they can take on city projects.

Dennis said the Rec and Park Department is still hoping to start work in October, “but that is tentative.”

“For us, we want to move this thing forward because of escalating costs,” Dennis said, noting that as time wears on, materials increase in price.

The pool area is in special need because current conditions cause steam to collect. Some who frequent the pool said on most days it almost feels as though it is raining on the pool deck.

“It’s getting outdated and it’s a very busy hub,” Dennis said. “But it’s not the worst of the worst.”

Jan Bolaffi, the president of the Western Addition Neighborhood Association, said the center and pool are popular in the community, which, in turn, is well served by the amenities and staff there.

“This is a much-used facility, and it could be used more” if it were renovated, Bolaffi said.

The renovations at the center on Geary Boulevard and Steiner Street will be financed primarily through bond money from the $110 million parks bond passed by voters in 2000. Some have questioned Rec and Park’s oversight of the money and whether it was being spent effectively.

dsmith@examiner.com

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