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Recent work has included tiling the pools and paving the new parking lot of the facility

GARY ALLEN - graphic photo: Gary Allen
A painting contractor seals the roof of the leisure pool as work continues on the new aquatic center near the corner of Haworth Avenue and Villa Road.

Construction of the Chehalem Park and Recreation District's new aquatic center continues to hum along and remains on schedule to open in spring 2018, according to project manager Jim McMaster.

"There have been hiccups, but nothing that's slowed us down," he said. "Overall, we've kept our change orders lower than industry standards."

Passersby may have noticed in recent weeks that the trailers and equipment that have long been stored out front of the site along Haworth Avenue are no longer there.

Those have been removed or relocated to the back of the site, which not only allows for clearer views of the progress that has been made on the building, but has allowed work on the new parking lot out front to begin. Much of the concrete outline for the lot has already been poured, but paving work will be somewhat dependent on the weather.GARY ALLEN - Crews take advantage of a short dry spell in an otherwise rainy day last week to apply insulation and exterior panels to the facility.

"We're starting to get that together," McMaster said. "Now you can see how it will work and what it will look like. Then we'll switch from parking over there (at the current pool) to over here."

With most, if not all, of the structural components completed and work on the exterior moving briskly, much of the focus has moved inside. That includes installing tile along the edges of both the leisure and competitive pools, although much of the pool surface will be done in plaster.

"This is the first time I'll be using plaster," McMaster said. "Every pool I've been involved with used concrete, so you have to paint it every five years. Plaster it can last a long time, but I'm not as familiar with it."

Work began last week to clean the concrete surfaces so that plaster can be installed, though the lane lines at the bottom of the competitive pool will still be tile. Unlike the small square-inch tiles used on the current pool, the new tile is much bigger and heftier. GARY ALLEN - A worker prepares the surface of the competition pool for sealing and painting last week.

"They're used a lot in the United States now," McMaster said. "They're used in most of the new facilities now. Then there is a plastic grate to collect the water (on the pool deck), then more tile and then concrete.

Because cranes have continued to be necessary for a lot interior work, especially on the roof, small portions of the concrete contours of the pool have not been completed to allow the cranes to be moved in and out of the structure. According to McMaster, crane work will be completed soon, allowing the final concrete pours for the pools themselves.

McMaster also participated in a public meeting with users of the existing fitness center Nov. 1 to get some feedback for the renovation of the current pool into a gym and expanded fitness area.

"Everybody is really excited it's happening," McMaster said. "We're making the weight room three times the size and then we'll have the walking track, so they thought it was just great. We asked for ideas and they had some ideas. We did a survey to see what exercise they do."

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