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Making a splash

image Cadence McShane’s North Lake College Natatorium renovation is keeping Irving swimming.

DALLAS/FT WORTH - Built in 1985, North Lake College’s natatorium is a community asset in heavy rotation. Shared between the college, Irving ISD and the City of Irving, the natatorium is Irving’s only Olympic-size pool. The USA Swim Club and other schools utilize it for swim practices and competitions and the community enjoys swim lessons, water aerobics and other events there. Conveniently, the Pirouettes of Texas synchronized swim team calls Irving home.


    By 2013, however, the facility’s age and constant use was starting to show, and North Lake College could no longer sustain the natatorium’s declining state. That year, the Dallas Morning News ran an article stating that the college was closing the facility in 2020, leaving Irving with only one indoor pool.
    This news prompted the City of Irving and Irving ISD to meet with the college and convince them to not only keep the natatorium open but to renovate it. General contractor Cadence McShane was enlisted to remove the pool facility’s fabric pressure-inflated roof structure, replace it with a permanent roof structure, install HVAC systems and update the pool area equipment.
    Project manager Jennifer Norris and superintendent Justin Milam worked with Stantec to restore the natatorium while being mindful of the community’s financial resources. Problem solving began in the preconstruction phase by producing value-engineering options that reduced the project’s final cost by nearly 8%.
    “The existing building actually had its original fabric roof. It was inflatable and had this air system inside that kept it inflated; you couldn’t leave doors propped open too long because if you did, it would let all of the air out and the roof would sort of start to collapse,” Norris says. “We took that fabric roof off to install a new roof structure from Novum Structures,” Norris continues.
    That, of course, is when the rain decided to fall.
    “We had a couple of rain days throughout the project, and it obviously happened when we had that fabric roof off,” Norris says. “It was okay, though, because that fabric roof structure was meant to be taken off. I think they had [removed it] over the years to have an open environment swimming pool. The rain affected  us at some points, but it wasn’t too bad.”
    “Once we took that fabric off, there was still a lot to do with those saddles in preparation for that structure,” Norris continues. “We had to put steel saddles on the concrete collar beam all of the way around the entire building.  We had to set those to where there was only a 1/16th of an inch tolerance for all of that space roof structure to sit on it. We had to drill through that system which had rebar in it, so we had to place those and X-ray the whole structure to make sure we were missing that rebar; we didn’t want to hit the rebar, damage it or jeopardize the structural integrity. The north and south walls have glass, so that basically covered those two ends of it and gave us that dry-in of the building.”
    Inside the facility, the team built two new locker rooms with showers. They also refinished the paint-peeled concrete pool deck with an epoxy floor. A new sprinkler system was installed as well as a new dectron unit to help minimize humidity and chemical odor from the pool.
    The project was completed in Oct-ober, and on Nov. 6, North Lake College hosted a ribbon cutting of its renovated natatorium. The Pirouettes of Texas swimmers proudly performed for guests, showing off the facility to its full advantage.
    “Cadence McShane crafted a strategic construction plan and delivered a quality project under budget and on time for Irving ISD,” says Cadence McShane president Will Hodges. “Know-ing how many people in the community count on using the natatorium, we knew the project needed to be completed with no complications.”
    “The renovation refreshed the entire facility,” says Norris. “It’s just a huge trans-formation.”
    Cadence McShane Construction Com-pany is a general contractor with offices in Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio. –mjm

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Melissa Jones-Meyer dfweditor@constructionnews.net