Project Highlight: Henry Sibley Aquatic Center

May 28, 2021

The Finished Product:

The Henry Sibley Aquatics Center is a newly constructed Aquatic Center that houses an 8-lane swimming pool complete with a high dive and movable bulkhead. The brand-new facility serves both the Henry Sibley swim team and community as well as the Concordia swim and dive team. Aside from the pool, the facility also contains locker rooms, a concessions area, bleacher seating, and offices for both school employees and community events personnel.

Donlar’s Role:

As General Contractor, it was Donlar Construction’s job to coordinate the construction for phase 2 of the Aquatics Center, which was funded as part of the 2018 Bond Referendum. Donlar Construction worked with the Architect, Owner, and Owner’s Rep while coordinating the efforts of more than 15 different subcontractors. We managed budgets and enforced job site safety protocol, and Donlar Construction’s crews also self-performed concrete, and rough carpentry.

Project Challenges:

This project presented a few unique challenges of note. Aquatic facilities require many specialty items, and the onset of COVID-19 delayed the production and delivery of many materials. We overcame these challenges by revising the schedule and producing suitable alternatives to ensure that we met our revised deadline while providing Henry Sibley with the optimal finished product.

The surrounding facility, consisting of precast walls and Concrete Double T’s, was erected prior to the excavation of the pool itself. This meant that we were excavating within a fully enclosed facility, near the building’s walls and footings. It required extra care and precision to ensure that we did not undermine the structural integrity of these building components.

Unique Features:

The pool features movable 60,000 Pound bulkhead that can repositioned along the length of the pool. The Bulkhead is moved by inflating it until it floats so that it can be moved along the pool. When it is in the desired location, it can be deflated so that it sits on the sides of the pool and provides a sturdy and solid walking platform. This brilliant feature allows the pool to portioned it off for different swim events and allows for multiple activities to take place at a single time.

The facility has solar power capabilities, with 56 solar panels positioned on the roof. These panels are used to heat the pool water, and is expected to decrease the facility’s energy consumption up to 80%.