Work resumes on indoor pool renovations

At the school board meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 8, Lincoln County School District No. 1 superintendent Teresa Chaulk told the board that renovations on the indoor pool, including moving and recompacting dirt around the pool, have resumed.

The dirt work was required after contractors in July found voids underneath the pool deck, which caused part of the deck to collapse when work was being done on two drains.

The district tested the compaction rate of the soil around the pool, and it was not a consistent rate, so  they chose to remove and recompact 18 inches to three feet of dirt around the pool, and then continue the remainder of the work when the compaction rate had been increased.

“We’re excited that we were able to give the bid to local workers,” Chaulk said. “They take pride in this project and want to do a good job.”

After the dirt work is complete, the district will move on to the plumbing and electrical work, as well as other projects like new bleachers. New air handlers had already been installed when the soil compaction issue was discovered.

The district had been using money from a $3.5 million bond that passed in April 2017 to renovate the indoor pool. The renovation, which was to be completed in phases, began in April of 2018.

“We’ve had people ask, ‘Wouldn’t it just be cheaper to build a new pool,’ and our answer is ‘No, it wouldn’t,’” Chaulk said. “A brand new pool is upwards of $18 million. We have to fix what we have.”

Chaulk said the projected completion date for the indoor pool renovations is April of this year.

“We hope the pool will be available for one-week swims at the end of the school year and then for swim lessons,” Chaulk said. “At this point, no news is good news.”

Because of the delays on the pool renovations, the Kemmerer High School girls’ swim team had to travel to Evanston several times a week to practice for the entirety of their season. The boys’ team is now doing the same, but both teams accepted the challenge and have done well despite not practicing in a pool every day.

The next LCSD No. 1 school board meeting will be on Tuesday, Feb. 12, at 7:00 p.m. at the Administration building on Adaville Drive in Diamondville.

Superintendent Chaulk will continue to keep the Gazette and the public informed about the renovation timeline for the indoor pool.