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Community Center ready to launch $725,000 pool and locker room area renovation project

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Community Center ready to launch $725,000 pool and locker room area renovation project
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

Much like an episode of HGTV’s “House Crashers,” a team of “pool crashers” will soon be invading the Detroit Lakes Community & Cultural Center — and they’ll be bringing along some “locker crashers” too.

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The pool, pool deck and locker rooms at the DLCCC are scheduled to undergo a $725,000 upgrade over the course of the next month — starting on Monday, when all the locker rooms will be getting a fresh coat of paint.

“Our building is now 13 years old,” said Stu Omberg, CEO of the community center, explaining the reasoning behind the project.

“With time, any building needs upgrades, and not only for maintenance, but sometimes improvements too.”

The decision to make improvements to the locker rooms and pool area was hastened along, however, when not just one, but two of the DLCCC’s main HVAC (air handling) units were struck by lightning last August.

While one of the units was successfully repaired, the other — which controls the air and ventilation systems in the pool area — continued to have problems.

“We struggled with the pool unit through December, trying to repair it,” Omberg said. “But ultimately the damage the lightning did sent it to its early demise — it should have lasted another five years.”

Unfortunately, the air handling unit that needed replacing was a highly customized piece of equipment, due to the fact that it was also designed to control humidity in the pool area.

“It takes a significant amount of time to build a new one, at an equally significant cost,” said Omberg, noting the price tag for replacement of the customized HVAC unit was $475,000.

“After we lost that unit, the increased humidity unfortunately damaged the walls and paint in the pool area,” Omberg said.

Ultimately, the DLCCC board determined that a thorough study was needed in the pool and locker room area to decide what other improvements were needed.

Besides new paint and wall repairs in the pool area, it was also decided that the locker rooms could do with a new coat of paint, and new lockers as well.

But the biggest improvement approved by the board was to replace all the floors in the pool deck, showers and locker rooms with RecDeck, a type of flooring made of durable, textured PVC material that is water tight, colorfast and supposedly, low maintenance.

“It also has anti-microbial (i.e., algae and fungus resistant) and anti-slip features,” Omberg said of the specialized flooring material.

“It will allow for easier maintenance of the flooring in the showers, pool and locker rooms,” he added.

The three locker room facilities at the DLCCC will also be getting not only all-new flooring and lockers, but also new partitions, Omberg said.

“We will also be doing major maintenance to our water slide — repairing the railings and upper deck, refurbishing the stainless steel fasteners for the water flume and replacing the structural pole,” he said.

“We’re investing about $250,000 in the remodeling,” which puts the cost for the entire project at around $725,000, Omberg said.

Though some of the early painting and prep work will be done this coming week, the bulk of the project is scheduled to begin on Monday, Aug. 11.

On that date, the current lockers will be moved into the fieldhouse for daily use (locker holders are asked to have their belongings cleared out by Aug. 6 to facilitate the move).

That’s also the date when the pool will be closed to begin installation of the new flooring, air handling unit — which will need to be lifted up onto the roof after the old HVAC unit is removed, with both moving jobs being done by a large crane — and the water slide improvements.

The pool and locker rooms are set to reopen on Monday, Aug. 25.

The only part of the project that won’t be done by that date is the walls in the pool area, Omberg said.

“We need to get better humidity control established in the pool area before the walls can be repaired and repainted,” he explained. “That work will be done later this fall or winter.”

Insurance will partially fund the cost of replacing the air handling unit, with Detroit Lakes Public Utilities providing the funds for the balance of the cost.

“That will be paid back (to the city) by the DLCCC,” Omberg said.

The remodeling will be funded “through DLCCC operations,” he added.

Follow Detroit Lakes Newspapers reporter Vicki Gerdes on Twitter at @VickiLGerdes.

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Vicki Gerdes
Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 14 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as obituaries. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.
(218) 844-1454
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