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Benson Schools hires U.S. Aquatics for swimming pool upgrades estimated at $90K

BENSON -- Benson Public Schools hired U.S. Aquatics on Tuesday to serve as the engineering company for the high school's upcoming swimming pool project.

Superintendent Lee Westrum said U.S. Aquatics estimates the improvements will cost the district less than $90,000. He is optimistic a lower price could be possible when the district opens the project for bids. The district plans to complete the upgrade by the end of the winter.

"We're hoping for some good bids" Westum said. "Maybe in the winter, the pool folks aren't as busy and if we can get them in at that time, maybe they'd be hungry for business at that point."

The improvements will include replacement of pool drains, piping and drain systems. Westrum said the drains are old and corroded.

He also said the district found signs of water leakage underneath the pool.

The plan will also include minor upgrades -- such as proper depth markers and deck drainage -- to get the facility up to current codes, Westrum said.

"It's basically kind of a general upgrade of the pool to get up to code and make sure it's a safe environment for everybody," Westrum said.

Representatives from U.S. Aquatics will attend the School Board's next meeting to provide further details of the project. According its Web site, U.S. Aquatics provides full-service pool management out of four sites located in Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina.

In other business,

- The School Board made final approval of the 2009 tax levy worth $1,156,824. Westrum said this was the maximum amount the board could approve following its September levy certification.