The Warren H. Daugherty Aquatic Center remodel is coming along, well, swimmingly.
“It’s a far cry from what it used to look like,” said South Lane School District Maintenance and Facilities supervisor Matt Allen on a tour of the facility last week. While Allen was directly talking about the new women’s locker room that features six toilets opposed to the two that occupied the space before, his comment seemed to apply to the area as a whole.
The current construction is barely recognizable from the pool that occupied the space since 1955. Where the one pool sat previously now sits the new tank that is 25 yards long and will have eight lanes that will allow competitions to take place. Next to the pool sits the warm water recreational and therapy pool.
“We like to call it that because, yes, we want it to be available for therapy but we also know that there is going to be young families and pre-school and kindergartners that are going to learn to swim in this pool,” said SLSD Communications Director Garrett Bridgens.
While $6.2 million from 2016 bond funds was allocated for the pool, the additional therapy pool pushed the project about $524,000 over budget. Between donations both received and committed, the district has so far raised over $450,000 with the goal of raising $550,000.
In addition to the new tanks, work is being done across the building to update the locker rooms, electrical work, outside paneling and entrance area.
“One of my favorite things that got included in this pool with this remodel, they’re putting these windows back in. We’re standing here, you can see the light that’s coming in right now,” said Bridgens of windows that illuminate the building from the side. “Natural light is coming in. I’m so excited about the fact that we were able to include the windows.”
In addition to the windows, the remodeled facility will also feature up-facing lights. The lights face up to ensure there is no glare on the water and will be bouncing off a white ceiling to provide as much light as possible to the previously dim and dank building.
Another addition that the district was excited for was the newly added family bathroom that includes a bench area and an ADA compliant shower.
“In terms of the design process, this was one of those things that the committee felt and everyone wanted and it was like were we going to be able to get it in the building,” said Bridgens.
Construction on the remodel began last October. The recent snow storm moved the timetable on the remodel from ahead of schedule to on schedule which means the pool is still planned to open in September.