Hampton accepting proposals for aquatics center

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HAMPTON, Va (WAVY) — The City of Hampton has announced it will consider unsolicited proposals to build a state-of-the-art aquatics center that city leaders hope will boost sports tourism.  

In a notice sent out earlier this month, Hampton’s Finance and Procurement office said it has received an unsolicited proposal to design and build the center that follows the Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act of 2002 (“PPEA”.) Now in accordance with the PPEA it will accept competing conceptual proposals.

The Design-Build team of Clancy & Theys, based in Newport News, submitted a proposal to build a 42,000 square foot facility on the corner of Pine Chapel Road and Coliseum Drive.

The proposed center would include an Olympic-sized pool with seating for more than 1,000, a 25-yard program pool, a whirlpool and locker rooms. 

While the cost of the submitted proposal remains confidential, according to a City of Hampton spokesperson, the latest report from staff estimates the project costing between $18-22 million. 

The vote to move forward with exploring the project passed by a narrow 4-3 vote last year. Mayor Donnie Tuck was one who voted against the idea of pursing an aquatics center, saying he’d rather see other city assets generate more economic activity first.

However sports tourism has become a rallying point for several Hampton Roads cities, including Virginia Beach, which has begun constructing a new sports center. 

“I can tell you ostensibly we’re very supportive of it,” said Bryan Stephens, President & CEO of Hampton Roads Chamber. “You’re going to attract swimming venues, USAA swimming titles, maybe certainly we run the AAU Junior Olympic games every year. We can certainly use the aquatic center for the swimming events.”

The City of Hampton will accept competitive bids until December 20.

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