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Splash Central opening delayed

Posted: Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

HURON — Call it a bump in the road, but it’s actually cracks in the concrete in the floor of the deepest part of the 50-meter competition pool at Splash Central that will delay its opening about three weeks.

But the good news is that all of the other water features of the new aquatic center will open on schedule May 24. That includes the much anticipated Master Blaster slide.

Cold, wet weather this spring means the postponement of preview weekend this Saturday and Sunday until a single evening on Thursday, May 23, from 4 to 9 p.m.

Fixing the problem in the Olympic-sized pool will delay its opening until June 16.

The work could have been delayed until fall, after the season is over, but the contractor wants to do it now, and will do so at his expense.

“It’s a wonderful facility and we want it to last years and years,” Mayor Paul Aylward said in a press briefing. News of the delay was also announced during the regular City Commission meeting.

City Engineer Mike Wever said groundwater is believed to be the culprit. It lifted the floor in the 12-foot-deep section of the pool one quarter to one half inch, causing the cracks that were only visible when it rained.

The difference in pressure wouldn’t have been a problem had there been at least a few feet of water in the pool.

There are drain lines leading to a wet well, but for some reason a pump and hydrostatic valve didn’t work. It meant the pressure below the pool floor was greater than it was above it.

Cracks could have been sealed and then fixed this fall, but the Minneapolis contractor opted to do the work now. It will not mean a change order and additional expense to the city.

Former Mayor David McGirr said the situation is unfortunate. But the fix has been designed so that the rest of the Splash Central amenities can open on schedule.

“I commend them for doing the right thing,” he said.

Splash Central Manager Laura McGirr said 283 season passes have been sold, for a total of 1,100 members. By comparison, the former pool had 60 season passes last year.

“Most of the fun things that make our park unique will be open on day one,” McGirr said.

Meanwhile, the commission approved a variance request from Dakotaland Federal Credit Union to construct a garage and parking lot to accommodate a building addition. The addition will be built next year.

Dakotaland President Dan Cumbee said company growth is spurring the need for additional parking for employees and members. Growth has been 300 percent in the last 10 years and Dakotaland is now a leader in mortgage lending.

The building addition is needed because 15 employees work in the basement and three work from home. It will also mean another 20 to 25 jobs.

Dakotaland withdrew its request to delay a portion of the north-south alley and relocate access to and from 14th Street Southwest over some neighborhood opposition.

Gary Wold said he and others who had signed a petition will no longer oppose the variance, and Tracy Thorn said he appreciated Dakotaland working with the neighbors.

Commissioners also:

• Approved a $261,658 progress payment to various vendors for the Huron Aquatic Center project.

• Approved a replat request from Thomas Light, Wayne Hofer and Jennifer Hofer for Hofer Lighthouse Lot 1, which involves an area between Picek Construction and Jensen Feed. A variance was approved for construction of rental storage units and parcels that are being subdivided.

• Approved a renewal contract for the emergency notification system with Emergency Communications Network, which bought out the previous provider, DeltAlert.

• Approved pursuing negotiations with Advanced Recycling Services of Sioux Falls as a recycling end-of-line contractor. A contract will be considered for one year, after which time there will be consideration if the sorting process can be done locally to add jobs.

• Approved the rules of procedure of the planning commission.

For the complete article see the 05-14-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 05-14-2013 paper.

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