Archive for Thursday, July 5, 2007

Lingering rains causee further pool delays

July 5, 2007

Heavy rains over the weekend further delayed construction on the Eudora Aquatic Center.

Eudora Parks and Recreation Director Tammy Hodges said she's still optimistic for Friday opening. The grand opening has been pushed back to July 21.

If the pool opens Friday, the main entrance will be on the north side of the building near the slide. Parking for the pool will be at Nottingham Elementary School. Admission Friday will still be free.

Rain has delayed the installation of curbs and guttering, Hodges said.

"The rain is just killing us," she said.

Hodges had hoped to have a fence built around the pool and the pool filled with water over the weekend, but the pool was still empty Monday. The pool was being filled Tuesday.

"We're just waiting to see how quickly we can get the fence up," she said.

It would take about a day for the pool to be completely filled, Hodges said. After filling the pool, workers will still need to set the right chemical balance in the water, she said.

The city tried one time earlier to fill the deep end of the pool, but stopped to tweak the pump and pipe systems.

Workers successfully fixed issues coming from the test, Hodges said.

The city could have the pool filled by Thursday if weather allows.

"We're pushing it."

Because of the rain, ground at the work site has been nearly impossible to work with.

"It's like a mosh pit out there," she said.

While rain has pushed back the work outside of the complex, work on restrooms inside have been nearly completed. Crews were painting the restrooms as of Monday, Hodges said.

The rain also has delayed progress on the recreation center, which was part of the $3.8 million bond passed last August. The east wall of the gymnasium was supposed to be completely fitted with sheet metal by this point. By Monday, the project hadn't been started, Hodges said.

"Now we're in a dilemma on how we're getting that up," Hodges said.

Despite the construction delays, the parks department has been selling pool passes and signing people up for swimming lessons.

"We didn't get as big of a turn out as we were hoping," Hodges said.

A few first-level swim classes have filled, she said. Hodges predicts more will come when the pool opens. People could be just cautious to see when the project will finish, Hodges said.

As of now, the city plans a grand opening celebration and ribbon cutting ceremony for July 21 at 12:45 p.m. at the pool near Nottingham Elementary School on Elm Street.

The event will include free admission for the day. The city will be giving away prizes throughout the day and offer free hotdogs at 5 p.m.

Should the opening be delayed further, the city will be charging a penalty fee to the construction company, Vanum Construction.

The Eudora City Council unanimously agreed June 25 to charge the company a $500 penalty fee for each day after July 7 the pool isn't completed.

"It's just playing into God's hands now," Hodges said.

For more information on the pool opening, call the recreation department at 542-1725.

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