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Boston Firm Emerges As Favorite to Inspect Claremont Pool

Claremont — A Boston architecture firm specializing in aquatic facilities has been selected to negotiate a contract with the city to inspect Claremont’s outdoor recreational pool and provide a cost overview for repairs.

The pool, which has been closed since the 2011 season due to leaking and other problems, was initially set to be demolished until the city was urged to take a closer look to determine if the current facility could be repaired and made functional.

On Monday, the committee tasked with reviewing the qualifications of firms that submitted proposals to conduct the pool inspection said Bargmann, Hendrie + Archetype Inc. received the highest qualifying score among six applicants.

As part of its proposal, BH+A also submitted a bid of $29,960 to undertake the work. The committee emphasized the bid represents a starting point for negotiations over the contract.

Nonetheless, one committee member struck a note of encouragement.

“I think it is pretty workable,” said committee member Mary Walter, who is the city’s finance director.

If a final agreement cannot be reached, the committee will consider the second-ranked firm, Warren Street Architects. The firm also designed the new community center.

Committee member Jeff Barrette, a local business owner and county commissioner, who led the effort to have the city get another opinion on the shuttered pool rather than demolish it, said he was pleasantly surprised by the bid.

“I am blown away,” Barrette said, adding he thought the cost estimate would come in at double the figure.

As is the city’s protocol under its bidding process, committee members ranked applications based upon a qualifying score. The other bids were not opened.

Barrette and Walter ranked BH+A’s proposal first with a score of 442 points, while the three others on the committee ranked the company either second or fourth. Runner-up Warren Street Architects received a score of 428 points. The others were Aquatic Group of Portsmouth, N.H. (424 points); Oak Point and Associates of Portsmouth (401); Greenplay LLC of Lafayette, Colo. (391) and Aquattica Pools and Water Parks, Vergennes, Vt., (315).

Barrette said he selected BH +A primarily because of its “demonstrated experience on these projects and expertise in house.”

The company said in its bid that it would “provide all services required to complete the conditions and analysis report of the Claremont Outdoor Pool.”

The fee covers meeting, visits and research as well as architectural, structural, civil, landscape, mechanical, plumbing and electrical cost estimating services.

Finally, the bid includes hiring a pool contractor to complete a pressure test of the pool piping.

Committee member Scott Hausler, the city’s Parks and Recreation Director, said the process is also aimed at validating his department’s report on the condition of the pool, which led to the decision not to reopen it.

In November 2012, $50,000 was budgeted for demolition and this spring. The city requested bids and accepted one for $23,000, though a contract was never signed.

Patrick O’Grady can be reached at ogrady56@yahoo.com.