A report on the Shadow Cliffs waterslides has concluded that the popular facility could be reopened after repairs are made to the electrical equipment, decks and fences, plunge pools and to the slides themselves.
"The cost estimate for the renovation work would be $1.4 million when you add up all the engineering costs, permitting, inspection," said Jim O'Connor, assistant general manager of the East Bay Regional Park District.
O'Connor reviewed the report by Water Ventures, a water park developer based in Lake Forest, with the Park District operations committee on Thursday.
"This is a private firm we hired to do an evaluation and report," O'Connor said. "We wanted to get folks that work in this business to do this."
The next step is for the Park District to develop a "request for proposal" so companies can submit bids to renovate the popular facility. The committee will review the request at its Oct. 10 meeting, then it will be posted and the Park District will wait for bids on the project, O'Connor said.
"They will be due back to us sometime in mid to late November, then in January we'll take our recommendations to the committee," O'Connor said. "If it's approved to move forward we'll take it to the full board in February."
O'Connor was doubtful that the waterslides could reopen for the 2012 season since the developer would need to have funding in place to get permits, including a building permit from Pleasanton, health and safety permits as well as others from the county that would require inspections.
"It's a hybrid between a public pool and an amusement park," O'Connor noted. "State laws will apply as well."
The Rapids waterslides were opened in 1981 by Glenn Kierstad under a 25-year contract. After its expiration, the operation continued with year-to-year agreements.
Inspections last winter, when the waterslides were always closed, led the Park District to conclude that the facility had too many safety issues to open for the 2012 season. Park administrators recommended at a March meeting that the slides be closed permanently in light of the fact that the district's long-term land use plan called for them to be phased out in another 10 years.
The Park District instead instructed staff to reevaluate the site and put out bids for its renovation/rebuilding and operation.
At a meeting held at the Veterans Memorial Building in Pleasanton in June, Mimi Waluch, revenue and administration manager with the Park District, said the district had estimated it would cost $6.4 million to replace the facility, but original operator Kierstad also addressed the committee to say he estimated it would cost $280,000 to bring the facility up to snuff. He also explained that when he was put on a year-to-year lease he could not afford to make capital improvements.
Kierstad said that Rapids waterslides brought $90,000 per season in concession and parking fees to the Park District.
The concession area is about 3.5 acres and includes the four waterslides, a maintenance building, office, storage, separate men's and women's restrooms with dressing areas and lockers, and a picnic area with a shade structure, picnic tables and barbeques. Structures also must be made ADA compliant.
"It was great facility for many, many years, especially for the folks in Pleasanton," O'Connor said Friday, "But my job is to make sure that what happens in the future will be safe."
The Water Ventures report will be on the Park District website, www.ebparks.org, late next week, said O'Connor.