Aquatic center continues to take shape
As recently as May, the construction site for the Chehalem Park and Recreation District's new aquatic center was still a conglomeration of foundation work and a complex network of steel rebar.
Someone familiar with complex design and layout of the leisure pool might have been able to get a good sense for what the pool will look like when the $20 million-plus project is completed, but for most it was far from obvious.
Two to three months later, a majority of the concrete that will shape the two pools has been completed, so it's not too hard to envision what the final product will look like or even imagine people enjoying the many new amenities, like the zero-entry pool, two climbing walls, a diving pool or lazy river.
"I feel comfortable that it's going to be an amazing facility," CPRD project manager Jim McMaster said last week.
There is also ample visual evidence, now, of the projects' progress from more removed viewing points, like the temporary parking lot and Haworth Avenue, because many of the walls and underlying structures of the building that will house the leisure and competitive pools have been erected.
That includes the framing of the roof and some of the decking that will form the ceiling, so now it feels like there is a building there whether you're standing inside or out.
"It's changed for sure," McMaster said. "The pool looks like it has a roof on it. It won't keep any water out, but there is (ceiling) decking that you can see now when you go into the pool."
The portion of the new structure that will house those locker rooms and connect the old and new buildings, as well as the new entryway and lobby will be built at a later time, but McMaster said the project is on schedule for completion in March or April of next year.
"It's going well and we hope to be open when we said we would be open and I think we will be," he said. "So things are going really well."
McMaster added that recent spate of dry weather has helped keep construction moving at a good pace and said that some of his optimism for a spring completion is that all of the underground work has been completed. That's because with all of the underground piping for electrical, pool water, power, sewer and storm water now installed, one of the most likely sources for surprises has been eliminated.
"You never know what you're going to get into cost-wise, so that's good," he said.
Recent work has also included some projects in the current pool building, mostly to improve fire safety.
"We're in the process of pouring the concrete and finishing the locker rooms for the leisure pool," McMaster said. "We've done a lot of pouring into the other pool. We're all over the place right now, but it's looking really good."
McMaster said he expects to begin work on the new parking lot as soon as September.
In the meantime, McMaster said he is still running into people who are surprised to learn that the current pool is still open during construction, though that has been a major component of the planning going back to the initial stages of the project.
"We are open for business," McMaster said.