The partially completed Shore Aquatic Center was scheduled to open in June, but construction delays brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have pushed it out to at least August. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

The partially completed Shore Aquatic Center was scheduled to open in June, but construction delays brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have pushed it out to at least August. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Port Angeles pool construction resumes

PORT ANGELES — Construction of the Shore Aquatic Center has resumed after a stand-down for the COVID-19 outbreak.

The $20 million project was halted for about a week and a half to establish safety protocols for crews working under an exemption to Gov. Jay Inslee’s stay-at-home order, Executive Director Steve Burke said.

The planned reopening of the new-look pool has been pushed back from June to “sometime in August, I’m hoping,” Burke said.

“That’s a very tentative idea until we can start ensuring we can have all the supplies, and we won’t know that for another week or so,” Burke said last week.

Inslee on April 2 extended his “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order for non-essential workers through May 4.

“We were told both by the city and the state that we were considered an essential service because our facility provides child care,” Burke said.

“And so we were allowed to stay doing construction, but we shut down for about a week and a half in order to establish what our general contractor, Neeley Construction, felt was a safe protocol to move forward based on the recommendations from OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and the (state) Department of Health.”

Subcontractors returned to work under guidance from OSHA and the Health department, Burke said.

Workers are given daily health checks and provided personal protective equipment, if required.

“Luckily, construction kind of distances normally anyways,” Burke said of the 6-foot physical distancing recommendation.

“And a lot of the work is outside. And so it’s less vulnerable than other types of operations.”

The Port Angeles aquatic center, formerly known as William Shore Memorial Pool, has been closed since last May for a major renovation and a 10,000-square-foot expansion.

Neeley Construction and its subcontractors demolished much of the 1961 pool building and raised a new steel frame and cross-laminated timber roof for the new aquatic center at 225 E. Fifth St.

The new facility will have a lap pool, warm-water pool for exercise therapy and swim lessons, a children’s pool with a beach entry and splash-and-play features, a 1-meter diving board and a 10- to 12-person spa with 104-degree water, among other amenities.

It will have a dedicated space for the metropolitan park district’s after-school program — Splash, Play and Active Recreation for Kids (SPARK) squad.

SPARK squad is now providing child care to more than 20 children of essential workers at Lighthouse Christian Center in Port Angeles.

“They have lots of room, so we’re able to segregate the kids out so we don’t have more than 10 kids together, and each kid can have their own desk separated by the social distance guidelines,” Burke said.

Burke said he would have a better sense of the construction timeline after subcontractors determine whether they can secure needed supplies from manufacturers in other states.

“It’s not just ‘The guys are back to work,’” Burke said.

“It’s, ‘Oh, we need these parts, and they’re not open right now.’”

Despite the pause in construction, Burke said the project remained on budget.

For information on Shore Aquatic Center, click on www.sacpa.org.

________

Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at rollikainen@peninsula dailynews.com.

Port Angeles pool construction resumes
Port Angeles pool construction resumes
Port Angeles pool construction resumes

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