Rec Center construction to wrap up Fall 2015


Tori Lentz

Student Government senators saw the framework of the new pool and warm water pool. The new pool will be one of the last installments of the Rec Center and will feature the NKU logo on its floor.

With the Rec Center construction set to wrap up construction by the fall semester, the Student Government Association was invited on a tour of the construction site. What they saw included the early steps of a pool, a first floor locker room and a lounge area among other things. Fortunately, they invited The Northerner to tag along.

The project was set back by about two or three weeks, according to Assistant Vice President of Facilities Management Larry Blake. He, however, was confident that it wouldn’t mean pushing back the center’s finalization.

“By the end of the project, we think we’ll make most of that up,” Blake said. “It’s still going to open in the fall.”

Blake added that there “may be some elements missing.” He said that there were some last minute changes, such as the decision to include the NKU logo on the bottom of the pool.

“The logo is going to cost us a couple of weeks, so there may be a little bit of a transition there,” Blake said.

According to Project Manager Brad Lehman, the pool and what is known as a multi-activity court are planned to be the final installments of the Rec Center. Lehman said that the courts can be used to play any sport.

Another highlight of the tour was the exercise room on the second floor. According to Project Manager JD Barnes, a corner of the room will offer a partial view of downtown Cincinnati.

“My guess is that some of the treadmills and ellipticals and bikes in this corner are going to be probably the most popular,” Barnes said.

When asked what was the biggest challenge to overcome while constructing, Blake said it was natural gas and geothermal wells.

“We have a geothermal well system which is providing a lot of heating and air conditioning,” Barnes said. “What that means is that we have 80 wells out on the south side. They’re all 400 feet deep, six inches in diameter. They have essentially a hose that runs through and back up. When you drill 400 feet down, it’s kind of hard to tell exactly what you’re going to find. What we found is that in this part of the region there are pockets of what we call natural gas, but it’s really just Earth gas.”

Barnes explained that while this gas is organic, it makes it harder to drill.

For Group Superintendent Joe Deacon, the challenge laid with working in such a limited space when compared to other projects. He said that it’s tough to figure out how team members can continue working with heavy machinery without crashing into each other.

Other features include a spinning room, which will house stationary bikes, a track area and a warm water pool. The swimming pool itself will have a climbing wall that will lead to a diving well.