2020 Project Highlight: New Hope Outdoor Pool and Waterpark

December 21, 2020

The Finished Product:

The New Hope Pool is an outdoor aquatic center featuring a 50-Meter lap pool, a speed, drop, and flume water slide, a current channel and vortex pool, and a recreational zero-depth splash pool. Located adjacent to the New Hope City Hall, this Aquatic Center also includes a bathhouse building with showers/bathrooms, office space, and a concession counter.

Donlar’s Role:

Donlar Construction served as general contractor throughout the duration of the project. Our project team consisted of project managers Jon Polzin and Kevin Bohrer who worked alongside our Superintendent Eric Goebel, who oversaw operations on a day-to-day basis. Donlar Construction’s team also worked alongside the design team, Stantec Consulting, Inc., while managing more than 30 subcontractors on site. Donlar self-performed concrete, finish hardware and carpentry, metal panels, and roofing.

Project Challenges:

From our groundbreaking on April 15, 2019, through substantial completion on July 10, 2020, this project presented a lot of challenges, almost all of which related to the existing site and conditions brought on by weather. The existing soil on site proved to be less than ideal for our purposes, requiring that we remove much of the existing soil and replace it with a more acceptable variety. The site was the lowest point among the surrounding hills, and this, paired with the record-breaking rainfall, made for unworkable conditions several times throughout the project. To combat the conditions, we used mud matts and pumped out water to continue work as much as possible. When the weather made the original schedule impossible to hold, Donlar Construction revised the schedule with the pull planning method to develop a new schedule that would help us achieve our goals, and we implemented lean construction practices to make the most of our small jobsite. The Jobsite was surrounded by four other active jobsites. This made the scheduling of site deliveries and visits extremely important, and we worked with the contractors on surrounding sites to ensure that everyone could operate as smoothly as possible. The size of the jobsite and shape also meant that entrances to the site were constantly shifting as work around the site progressed. We used PlanGrid to allow for instant plan updates and changes with the click of a button, which helped get the most accurate plans to our superintendent. When the winter reached its coldest stretch, we needed to use the excavating frost toothing attachment on our backhoe to continue necessary groundwork to keep the schedule moving. One unique find on the project was a seven-foot by eight-foot boulder that was located in the middle of the future zero-depth pool. The estimated weight of the boulder was 100,000 pounds and it required coordination with the City and Stantec to figure out the best way to handle the problem. Due to the immense size, the most cost-effective strategy was to move and bury it in a quiet corner of the jobsite.