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Progress on Plunge Rehabilitation
July 4, 2002
I get a lot of questions about the status of the Plunge. The notes from the last Plunge Task Force meeting are attached. A funding plan for rehabilitation of the Plunge will appear in the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) to be voted on by the City Council during the last meeting of July, I believe July 30. If you support rehabilitation of the Plunge, you should make it your highest priority to be at that meeting.


date:         27 June 2002

location:      Engineering Services, 1401 Marina Way South, Richmond, CA

project:        Richmond Municipal Natatorium (The Plunge)

by:             Nancy Malone, Siegel & Strain Architects


    Rich McCoy, CoR

    Paul Elwood, CoR

    Ellie Strauss, Save the Plunge

    Bob Strauss, Save the Plunge, Historic Review Board

    Tom Butt, City Council

    Ron Gammill, Gammill Architecture

    Firas Jandali, JEDCO Engineering

    Jim Teixeira, Recreation and Parks, CoR

    Burton Edwards, Siegel & Strain

    Nancy Malone, Siegel & Strain


I.     Report on Presentation to task Force 2000

>    Lauren Livingston (TSMG) presented the most recent findings on the financials and programming, while Burton and Nancy presented a report on the building conditions and the design schemes.   The meeting took place on 5/31/02. 

II.    Design Schemes

>         S&S presented floor plans representing the design schemes that are included in the final report.  Options A and B remain essentially the same, but have been somewhat refined.  Refinements include improvements to locker room layout and pool layout.  

>    Option B-1, a third scheme, was presented as an alternate to the other schemes.  The plan is the same as Option B, but without the Fitness Center addition at the rear.  This scheme has many of the benefits of Scheme B, such as better locker room layout, additional staff facilities, and improved pool deck and it allows for the option of adding a fitness center in the future, where Option A does not.

>        The proposed structural schemes for Options A and B are very similar.  The scheme includes removal of the South, East and West HCT walls.  The E and W walls would be replaced with concrete masonry unit (CMU) shear walls.  The S wall would be replaced with a CMU shear wall to 8 feet, and light frame shear wall above 8 feet.  CMU is proposed for it’s similarity to the historic HCT walls, and for it’s durability. Steel braced frames take lateral loads in the E/W and N/S direction.  Much of the steel channel ledger would be replaced.  The steel columns would be repaired.  The existing walls of the North wing of the building would remain in place and be strengthened with 5-inches of shotcrete on the interior.

III.   Cost Estimates

The cost estimates have been revised since they were presented to City Council.  They are somewhat more accurate – and somewhat lower -- due to additional structural and pool design information.  The costs that were presented are summarized in the table below.  The costs for the three schemes include the cost of the One Pool scheme; the cost of two pools would add $100,000 per scheme.

Design Option


Total Hard Cost*

Cost per s.f.

Option A

27,590 s.f.

$8.04 million

$291 per s.f.

Option B

37,690 s.f.

$10.08 million

$267 per s.f.

Option B-I

30,890 s.f.

$8.82 million

$285 per s.f.

2 Pool Add Alt.




It was noted that these costs are construction costs only.

IV.    Final Report and Recommendations

S&S has completed their final report, which includes historic background and significance, a building evaluation, design schemes, cost estimates and recommendations.  A handout was distributed at the meeting that included excerpts from the report, which summarize each topic.  Much of the information contained in the report has been reported to the Task Force during the course of the last several meetings.  New information includes:

>           Design Option B-1 (described above).

>           The cost estimates above.

>           Structural and landscape designs.

Also outlined in the report are recommendations, which include:

>        Implement a complete renovation of the facility prior to re-opening.

>        Renovate the building according to The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.

>         Provide the best possible enhancement of recreation programs, which would be the implementation of Option B and two pools. 

V.              California Heritage fund Grants

>           S&S distributed a handout at the meeting that shows the grants given during the first cycle of CHF Grants.  Many are between $100,000 and $300,000.  Approximately half of the year’s $8.5 million in grant monies remain to be awarded, making it very possible for The Plunge to receive a grant.

>           Jim is working with a grant writer to submit for the second deadline.

>           Burton suggested they apply for a substantial grant tied to restoration of specific historic elements – perhaps as high as $550,000.  He also suggested that a copy of the entire report and a copy of the video be submitted as attachments to the application.

VI.  Discussion

>        Tom said that the overall approach is good, but had comments on materials and energy, base don the work that Interactive Resources produced in 1992. First, they found that there was an inherent conflict between utilizing natural ventilation and keeping energy use low, because of the heat loss occurring from the pool. They found that a closed system using a heat recovery system to be the best solution.  Tom also suggested that some kind of insulated wall system might be better at preventing condensation than CMU.  These are issues that would naturally be addressed in the next design phase, and Tom would like them on the table.

>        Burton pointed out that some of Tom’s concerns are addressed in the report:  several measure are proposed for reducing moisture; efficient heating; etc.

>        Tom wondered if the increased revenues could be applied to the capital bond payment.  (Burton thought that the TSMG report assumed that the revenues would go into Rec/Parks operations; but perhaps this would help Rec/Parks repay more of the bond?)

>        Jim pointed out that the community expects “free” services; many other communities don’t subsidize recreation activities as much as Richmond does.

>        Tom believes that the project has the best chance it has ever had of being implemented.  He believes that the Council will support it if staff (Rich and the City Manager) supports it.

>        Rich stated that he whole-heartedly supports the project and will be meeting with the City Manger on Friday.

>        Ellie will rally support from the community,  She believes that the community will be willing to wait for a complete fix if they know it is really going to happen.

>        Rich feels that if staff comes up with a defensible CIP package, and if staff backs it, that City Council will also support it.

>        Ellie pointed out that for the long term success,  Rec/Parks needs to address marketing and management of the Plunge.

VI.  Upcoming Meetings

>        Aim for presentation of project to Council on July 16.  Gammill/JEDCO, TSMG and S&S should be present.

>        CIP budget to go to Council at end of July.

End of Notes:

If these Notes do not reflect your understanding of the events of this meeting, please notify the author immediately.  Notes will be deemed approved if corrections are not received within 5 days.