MIDWEST CITY — Although a renovation project at Rose State College’s aquatic center will include several noticeable upgrades, most patrons will never see some of the biggest changes, the college’s wellness center director said Tuesday.
The renovations are the first in a series of proposed construction projects that were included in a $21.9 million bond issue voters in the college’s district approved last year.
As a part of the project, college officials plan to upgrade aging pipes, underwater lights and other fixtures, and redo the deck around the pool, said Chris Leland, director of the college’s Health and Wellness Center. Most of the equipment set for replacement has been in the center since it was built 30 years ago, Leland said. But although those systems need to be replaced, they’re mostly behind walls or under floors, meaning they’re out of sight, Leland said.
“We need new everything,” he said. “There’s going to be a lot of money spent on things you just won’t see.”
Speaking at a town hall meeting Tuesday, Kim Queri, the college’s aquatics coordinator, said she expected construction to begin by May 5. College officials hope the project to be complete by Sept. 14, she said. The center will be closed during renovations.
Bringing the aquatics center into compliance with regulations that didn’t exist when it was built will be one of the main challenges during the renovations, Queri said. For example, the slope of the deck on the north and south ends of the pool is too steep to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act regulations, she said, so workers will redo the deck to make the slope shallower.
Workers will also move a series of diving blocks from the shallow end of the pool to the deep end. Although the pool doesn’t violate any code by having the blocks where they are, having swimmers dive into the shallow end of the pool is worrisome, Queri said.
“It scares me,” she said. “It’s just so much safer to have them dive into the deep water.”
The bond issue provided $675,000 for renovations to the aquatic center, which sees heavy use by residents in the Midwest City and Del City communities. Once the first phase of renovations are complete and the center is reopened, officials plan to begin a second phase, which will include upgrading the center’s locker room and replacing the roof.
College officials plan to hold another town hall meeting to discuss the project at 1 p.m. Friday at the college’s Professional Training Center, 1720 Hudiburg Drive, in Midwest City.