By RITA DUCKWORTH
Holland Construction Services, based in Swansea, acted as construction manager for a $14.4 million project completed in January 2016 for the city of Bridgeton, Mo.
The Bridgeton Recreation Center is a 56,000-square-foot complex that replaced the city’s outdated Community Center. It is a multipurpose facility housing the Parks and Recreation offices, as well as space for a wide range of family oriented activities. It contains a two-court gymnasium, an indoor running track, aerobics room and meeting rooms. A full indoor aquatic center provides residents with a pool, water slide, current channel, and an interactive children’s play structure.
Ground was broken for the building in October 2014 near the site of the existing Community Center, which remained in use throughout construction. Once the new Recreation Center opened, Holland Construction demolished the original building. They finished by paving a new parking lot that once encompassed its footprint.
Hastings + Chivetta, headquartered in St. Louis, was the architect for the complex. Counsilman-Hunsaker & Associates, also of St. Louis, consulted on the design of the aquatic center portion of the building. Holland Construction had previously worked with Councilman-Hunsaker on the Salem Family Aquatic Center in Salem, Illinois.
Fred Dintelman, who has been with Holland Construction for 10½ years was senior project manager for the job. He explains that although it was a large project, it was not unusual in scope for Holland. There was, however, a great deal of preliminary site work required. The project began with extensive earth-moving and site utility work.
As with all construction jobs, the construction team faced its share of both routine and unanticipated challenges. Dintelman recounts that with its October start, they were confronted with the approach of winter and then had to work through a particularly wet spring in 2015. A strike resulting from a contract dispute between the Bricklayers Union and the Mason Contractors Association in the summer of 2015 further complicated the schedule.
“There was quite a bit of masonry work to be done on the project. The strike occurred when masonry was on the critical path of work,” recalls Dintelman.
These minor setbacks delayed completion only slightly and Holland Construction was able to complete the complex with little variation from the original plan. The city of Bridgeton’s Director of Parks and Recreation, Walt Siemsglusz, said “the City Council was extremely impressed with the level of professionalism and expertise expressed by each member of the Holland team. It was clear this would be a team effort throughout the project.”
Fred Dintelman is pleased with the final results.
“It is a very good-looking building from the exterior. It is well lit and attractive at night,” he says. “There are clean and distinct interior finishes. Rather than a bold design, it is practical and functional.”
Dintelman believes that the practicality and functionality of the building plays a major role in its success. The entire complex has been well received by the residents of Bridgeton, and membership in Parks and Recreation programs has increased by several hundred percent since its completion.