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Huntsville Natatorium Construction Update

Published on July 14, 2016

Natatorium Construction Photo

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If the cranes are any indication, there’s dramatic progress happening at the site of the soon-to-be new Huntsville Aquatics Center located on Drake Avenue. Today, city officials joined local media for a behind-the-scenes hard hat tour showcasing the development’s progress Thursday morning.

“This state-of-the-art facility will not only be available for Huntsville citizens to enjoy, but it will serve as a major draw for large swim meets,” said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle. “The new 50 meter competition pool will include seating for over 1,400 spectators as well as hospitality and meet management areas.”

The project includes the addition of a New Lobby, Competition Pool and Therapy Pool to the existing Natatorium facility for a total of 56,409 square feet of new construction. The therapy pool is set to be complete by December 2016 with final completion of the entire project anticipated in June 2017.

“This is one of those projects that illustrate the importance of collaboration,” Mayor Battle said. From General Services to Parks and Recreation, Nola VanPeursem Architects and Pearce Construction Company and their partners – the folks working on this project are together building an exceptional facility for the citizens of Huntsville.”

Council Representative Bill Kling, District 4, said the new facility is highly anticipated in his district.

“We look forward to adding yet another amenity for the residents of District 4 to enjoy and anticipate welcoming folks from all across the city to enjoy the new Aquatics Center,” Kling said.

Lobby Area
The Lobby will create a new front entry into the facility. Users will be able to access the Competition Pool, Therapy Pool and existing Natatorium areas from the new Lobby. The Lobby will have new offices, a conference room and a concession area. Finishes will include polished concrete floors, painted walls and a section of glass block wall.

Pool Areas
The new 50 meter Competition Pool construction includes a mix of concrete masonry unit or CMU block, structural steel and structural precast concrete. The new Competition Pool area will have a 7′ deep, 50 meter Competition Pool with movable bulkhead, new men’s and women’s locker rooms, public restrooms, permanent seating for 1,404 spectators, as well as hospitality and meet management areas.

The Therapy Pool construction is consisted of CMU block and bar joists. The new Therapy Pool will have a 36’x75′ Therapy Pool with a shallow end of 3′ deep and a deep end of 7′ deep, renovated men’s and women’s locker rooms and four family changing rooms. Finishes will include ceramic tile, paint and acoustic wall panels.

Exterior Improvements
The exterior of the building will include brick, metal wall panels and glass curtain wall.

Construction will also include a new 264 space parking lot, outdoor planters, landscaping and a lakeside terrace area with stained concrete and fabric canopy cover.

Quick Facts
“With the existing Natatorium pool included, the new facility will have over 1,330,000 gallons of water – which will weigh over 11,000,000 pounds.”

  • Both pool buildings will be dried-in (structure up, roofing installed) prior to actually digging the pools
  • Pearce Construction is running the project as though they are two separate projects – with two superintendents, Robert Morgan and Don Smith. Robert Morgan, was part of the original construction of the Natatorium in 1974, 42 years ago.
  • 211 tons of structural steel, 52 tons of joist & 63,100 square feet of roof decking
  • 2,000 cubic yards of concrete
  • 80,000 CMU (concrete masonry unit) blocks
  • 200,000 bricks
  • 20,000+ square feet of metal wall panels
  • 10,000+ square feet of glass & curtain wall
  • 27 new showers
  • It will take 754,000+ gallons of water to fill the two new pools
  • To fill the pools with a standard garden hose running 24/7, it would take 2.5 months