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Backlog of HVAC units could delay opening planned for November; rest of renovation on schedule

{imGARY ALLEN - Renovation of the CPRD pool into a gymnasium and fitness center is progressing quickly, including the steel structure that will support an elevated walking track, but a backlog of HVAC equipment could delay completion until December or later.

With one rather significant exception, renovation of the Chehalem Park and Recreation District's old pool into a new fitness center is on track to wrap up at the end of November.

The lone hold up, according to project manager Jim McMaster, is expected to be HVAC equipment that is back-ordered nationwide.

"Construction is so amazingly good right now nationwide that those units, even though we put that out right as we gave the bid, they're backed up," McMaster reported to the CPRD board at its monthly meeting last week. "Sherwood Schools, in one of their wings, doesn't have any heat because they can't get that piece of equipment. We have that, too, because it's backlogged. We're looking, hopefully, by the end of December to have that, if not sooner."

Major progress has been made on transforming the old pool area into a gymnasium featuring a basketball court and an elevated walking track.

Most of the steel support structure for the walking track has been erected, although welding work will continue in the coming weeks.

"We have a heck of a lot of steel in that building," McMaster said. "It is stout. This is built where you could put a high rise on this thing. We are pouring a six-inch slab on top of that, so we do have to support some weight. That's getting done."

McMaster also reported that the new aspects of the main roof have been completed. The concrete beams that span the former pool building, which should be familiar to anyone who frequented the facility, will remain, but a new roof has been installed on top of them as part of seismic upgrades.

"They used a new system that looks like fiberglass," McMaster said. "It's tied into the walls and ties everything together. It's all been certified."

The CPRD board also voted 5-0 to approve the purchase of new weight room equipment at a cost of $19,881.

"That was one of the things that was requested by the public," McMaster said. "I had to pull the trigger early because according the manufacturer, they were going to raise their prices because steel prices have gone up. It was going to go up from $100 to $400 per piece of equipment."

McMaster said about 75 percent of the equipment in the fitness and weight lifting areas, which will be three times larger than in the previous space, will be new and represent a major upgrade ergonomically.

"We looked at our older population and bought some equipment specifically for the older population that may not want to get into the heavy stuff," McMaster said. "So it's going to be pretty diverse. What we didn't do is buy for the really big-time weightlifters who drop the weights and all that kind of stuff. That's mostly the private groups that do that and we didn't want to do that. We don't want to compete with that."

CPRD also put out a call to local artists Sept. 21 to submit proposals for a mural that will cover three walls of the new gymnasium at the level of the walking track.

Submissions must be received by Friday and the work will have to be completed during the month of October. Despite the short window, public information director Kat Ricker told the board they had already received numerous inquiries and one application.

"We put that request out to all of the commissions that we could figure out. Kat had access had to people at Yamhill County through Art Harvest and some other organizations," McMaster said. "It went to Portland. It went to George Fox University and to some other local artists out there that might be interested."

McMaster said a committee featuring local artists, professors and designers was formed to review applications and has proposed a general concept for the murals that submitting artists will put their own spin on. Because the building has no windows, the idea is to depict outdoor scenery and make it appear as if runners and walkers have an exterior view.

"Our group was looking at taking depictions of different outdoor areas of Oregon and Yamhill County throughout," McMaster said. "It's almost like taking a roadway through these with each section, which are about seven feet high by 20 feet wide, that you would have people walking here, running there, kayaking there, so they're doing different types of exercise stuff. But really what it's going to come down to is what these folks present us. We gave them an idea and they'll expand on it. We'll see what comes in."

Artists interested in submitting a proposal can do so via the district website at www.cprdnewberg.org.

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