Spotlight on Southwestern Illinois: Commercial Construction
Chuck Fruit Aquatic Center, Edwardsville, Plocher Construction
By KATE GENO
Construction has begun on the new Chuck Fruit Aquatic Center, which will be part of the District 7 Sports Complex, located on the campus of Edwardsville High School.
Plocher Construction is the design/builder for the project. Plocher began building the aquatic center, which will contain an eight-lane 50-meter, Olympic-size pool, in January. It is the only Olympic-size pool in Southwestern Illinois; the next closest is located at SIU Carbondale.
The $5.3 million, 29,000-square-foot building is an addition to the existing Jon Davis Wrestling Center at the high school.
“When the wrestling facility was built by Plocher Construction in 2009, the building infrastructure was designed to allow for future expansion. This has made the construction of the aquatic center cost-effective and efficient,” said Project Manager Rachelle Lengermann, who has been with Plocher for 13 years.
The exterior of the building is tilt-up concrete construction panels that will be painted in a neutral color scheme with thin brick in concrete for the veneer. Windows will be installed at the front of the building and it will be finished with a flat roof. Hurford Architects of Glen Carbon designed the aquatic center to be a natural addition to the wrestling center.
The pool will include one three-meter and two one-meter diving boards. A spectator mezzanine will be elevated above the pool deck to allow for better visibility of the swimming and diving events. It will provide permanent bleacher seating for approximately 500 people. An elevator and two stairwells will offer access to the mezzanine.
The 800-person-capacity center will also feature offices, a storage area, swim lockers, and a shower room. Plocher Construction is on schedule to finish the project in August.
“Our team has worked hard to keep this project moving forward, despite the less-than-ideal weather conditions presented this winter,” said Lengermann.
The aquatic center is named after the late Chuck Fruit, an Edwardsville native and EHS graduate. It is being funded by the Charles and Sharon Fruit Foundation and the EGHM Foundation. The center will allow for a competitive swim program and swim curriculum for Edwardsville High School students.