City officials visited the natatorium site on Wednesday to check on progress and get an update on the construction

Posted: Friday, October 18, 2013 11:25 am | Updated: 9:05 pm, Fri Oct 18, 2013. By Claudia Garcia cgarcia@aliceechonews.com


Mayor Larry Martinez, City Manager Ray De Los Santos and Councilman Frank Hinojosa headed out to the site where they met with project superintendent, Lee Barnes, with Marshall Company. City officials also brought along an independent architect, John Cotton, as well for an outside opinion.
Barnes gave officials a one week and one month overview of what to expect at the construction site. Barnes said the crew has begun the select structural non-expansive fill in the building bed last Wednesday and have been working on it ever since. Barnes said they are expected to finish digging the pool by Friday and then begin actually building the aquatic center.
“How your typical building works is it's down four and five up select fill,” Barnes said.
Select fill is material that is used to fill or build up to a set elevation. Its particle size is generally larger than soil or sand. Engineers generally set the requirement for the sieve requirements of select fill. The tallest part of the select fill is six lifts high.

“Monday we will shoot all the building corners with Naismith survey crew, check them all the way around,” Barnes said.
Once the pouring of select fill is complete, the crew will begin the pier layout on Tuesday. Barnes said the drilling shouldn't take too long if there is not a lot of bad casing work. After drilling, the crew will being on the utilities of the aquatic center which include the sanitary, storm and water systems, which will connect from McMasters Street.
Due to the remains that were found on site, the city had to get clearance from the Texas Historical Commission to make sure the site was not disturbed. Barnes said once the waterlines are installed, construction will go more smoothly since they will have access to water rather than driving to two different wells.
Utilities should be installed by early December where they will begin pouring concrete and working on the actual foundation of the center. The natatorium is costing $15.3 million and the city has about $400,000 contingency for any change orders to the project, though Martinez said he doesn't anticipate any.
Martinez said he also had ideas to lower the cost of the project as well and drop down to about $14 million. The entire natatorium project should be completed by March 2015.vision.