Pool and fitness centre renovations on course
This July and August, rather than taking a dip in a cool pool, construction workers are going for an underground crawl.
As part of the retrofit of MacEwan University's aquatics facility, workers with Chandos Construction have been digging a tunnel around the pool – and not to escape the summer heat. In fact, the work is hot and stifling, but it's the most efficient way for workers to access the pool's underground plumbing infrastructure, which is currently suspended from the underside of the deck and covered by dirt.
"It's basically the quickest and most economically efficient way to do it," explains Chris Fry, Chandos project superintendent.
The team cored a number of access holes around the pool to allow workers, trained to operate in confined spaces, to crawl through the trenches and shovel dirt into buckets. Once four or five buckets are filled, an above-ground worker uses ropes to lift them out of the trench. Each dirt-filled bucket weighs about 50 to 60 pounds.
Once the plumbing is uncovered, workers will replace the current infrastructure to meet the new standards required for pools.
Meanwhile, up on the roof
Not all of the pool retrofitting work is happening underground. One key part of the project is happening on the roof of Building 8 – installation of the new air handling unit.
To meet new code requirements, the unit will have an air flow rate of 30,000 pounds CFM (cubic feet per minute) and will weigh 50,000 pounds. On the roof, it will occupy a space the size of two school buses.
"The air handling unit will be on the rooftop of the gymnasium which will have no effect on the appearance of the pool," says Frank Salopek, project manager. "However, the ductwork distribution of the pool will change, so that will be the difference."
The project is scheduled to meet a major milestone in September with the opening of the expansion to the fitness centre at City Centre Campus. The aquatics facility is now slated to re-open in February, a slight delay from the original target of January.