Contractors and the CPRD working furiously to get new aquatic center opened by May

GARY ALLEN - A contractor prepares the walls of the leisure pool for tiling and grouting at the new Chehalem Aquatic Center.

Construction of the Chehalem Park and Recreation District's new aquatic center has continued humming along through the winter, including some unexpected progress on the roof, but current projections don't have the new facility opening until late April or early May.

CPRD project manager and facilities supervisor Jim McMaster said that, optimistically, construction could wrap up by mid-April, but that district staff will need at least a week or two for final soft preparations before opening to the public.

Especially considering that the public will continue to have access to the old pool, his priority leans heavily toward quality over expediency.

"They understand, the public, when I talk to them, that we want to get this right," McMaster said. "So that's what we're working on."

One of the biggest developments in February was that subcontractors installed the capsheet component of the roof.

"That was amazing because last year there was no way we would have been able to do that with the rain," McMaster said. "So we had a really nice, dry February, at least for the first part of it, so they were able to get up and do all that work with the cap sheet. That means I can get our solar panels on the roof now, where we thought we might not get that in before we open. That should be coming soon."GARY ALLEN - Water was pumped into the competition pool last week to test for leaks. CPRD official Jim McMaster reported that no leaks were found.

McMaster said that the majority of exterior work on the building has been completed, with the finishing touches coming in the next two weeks. Most of the concrete pouring for the parking lot and bioswales is also in the rearview mirror, allowing crews to make progress on the interior.

The final look of the competition pool is not hard to envision at this point after extensive work the past two months. In addition to pouring the pool deck, most of the tile work has been completed and the bleachers were installed in early February. That feature already includes a pair of large fans descending from the ceiling.

"If you've ever been in the stands, you know it gets hot," McMaster said. "So these will cool things off here. We'll really only turn them on for swim meets when we have a lot of people in here, stuff like that."

LED lighting, which is directed toward the white ceiling, has also been installed.

With the deck poured and tile installed, the competition pool was filled part way with water last week and McMaster expected to do the same with the leisure pool this week. With that out of the way, work to plaster the pool could begin as soon as this week.

"That's when you'll really see a difference," McMaster said. "That's a big deal."

Some of the ongoing work involves the heating and cooling systems, but most of the plumbing and control systems for the pools themselves have been completed.

"People I show in there don't realize that's what it takes to operate a pool. It's pretty intense," he said.

Some of the tile for the bathrooms and dressing rooms has already been installed, but those areas will be getting a lot of attention in the coming weeks, as well.

McMaster also indicated that some preliminary work on renovating the old pool into a gym with an elevated walking track has already begun. Once the new pool opens to the public, McMaster said contractors will cut a large opening in one of the walls so that excavating equipment can be brought inside.

Once all of the cement and pool plumbing has been removed, it will be backfilled and leveled with gravel. Some asbestos will then be removed before construction can begin in earnest.

Contract Publishing

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