Making Sausage

Old entry stripped away

As you’re probably aware it’s been a couple of weeks since we’ve posted any construction updates.  It’s not because there hasn’t been anything going on…lots of work is going on in a number of different places.  It’s just that after showing off all of the exciting finish work that went into the new addition, what’s been happening lately just doesn’t have much glamour.

It reminds me of the metaphor about making sausage….you enjoy the finished product but you really don’t want to see what goes into it!  So it is with remodeling; in the beginning a lot of time and effort is spent tearing things out and making preparations for what’s to come.  It’s a vitally important part of the process…but you’ve really got to be able to use your imagination to find anything inspiring about it.

This stage has also taken a bit longer than we had originally hoped.  Existing conditions weren’t always as we expected, and it’s meant coming up with new plans and performing additional work.  This has meant delays…mainly in finishing up the parking lot and putting the men’s locker room back together.

Metal framing going up for the new entry structure

The parking lot problems were mainly related to getting water to drain off the roof and away from the building.  You may remember that when it rains we would have water pouring off the roof and sheeting across the driveway.  The area directly in front of our main entrance was also fairly flat, and this condition created big  puddles.  So one of our goals when we set out to revamp the parking lot was to try to correct these conditions.

Unfortunately this process became a frustratingly complex puzzle.  The biggest problem was the area in front of the entry…not only was it flat, it was at almost the same level as the floor inside the building!   I won’t bore you with all the details, but making everything work correctly and still meeting the new requirements for treating storm-water runoff was very challenging!

In the men’s shower area our original plans called for stripping the floors down to the concrete and replacing the drain assemblies.   But after we jack-hammered out the existing drains, we discovered that some of the traps and branch lines below the drains were in fairly rough shape.  Since we had just had a drain line in the woman’s locker room fail and permanently disable two showers, we decided it was probably a good idea to replace them.  So we cut out another chunk of the floor and removed some more pipe.  At that point they brought in the “turbo blaster” to clean out any remaining gunk in the main line.  After the blasting they fed a camera down the line to inspect it, only to find that it hadn’t been completely cleared.  So they brought the blaster back for a second go-round.  This time, while under the pressure that the blaster created, the main line (still under the concrete floor) was leaking water.

Finally it starts to look like something!

So the camera was snaked back down the lines.  This time they were clear, and the inspection didn’t turn up any visible problems with the main line.  But now we had a tough decision to make.  Although the main line looked fine, the fact that it leaked water while under pressure was a concern.  Even though drain lines don’t have to contain any pressure under normal conditions, it shouldn’t have leaked.  And even though it would probably never be an issue, if it did fail it would be a huge problem.  So we decided to go ahead and cut out the rest of the floor and replace the entire line.

It may have been unnecessary, I guess we’ll never know.  But it was one of those cases where being safe instead of sorry will let us sleep a little better at night.  The corroded metal pipes are gone and have all been replaced with smooth new ABS plastic.  The traps and branch lines have all been up-sized from 2″ to 3″ pipe.   Short of pulling a Kramer and installing garbage disposals in them, I think we’ve done everything possible to keep those drains flowing smoothly!

We’re now at the point where things are once again moving forward on a number of fronts.  The massive new structure that will anchor the entry to the front of the building has been framed up and enclosed.  The new skylights over the cardio areas in the existing building have been installed.  All the new plumbing and electrical in the men’s locker room has been roughed in and can start being finished.  And out in the parking lot the new sidewalks are being formed.  Once the concrete work is completed we’ll be able to resurface the entire parking lot and get our parking situation back to normal! 

The re-paving of the parking lot is now tentatively scheduled to take place either the last week of this month or the first week of October.  We will be shutting the Club down entirely for about four days while this takes place.  As soon as we know exactly what those days will be we will let you know.




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