ROCHELLE — Rochelle residents who drive through the south side of the Helms Park & Athletic Complex can see the future of sports and recreation in the Hub City begin to take shape.
Construction crews have continued working hard on the $14 million Flagg-Rochelle Community Park District recreation center, which remains on scheduled to be completed in late September. Tim Daley, senior superintendent at Ringland-Johnson Construction, said that workers have been equipped with PPE and are maintaining their social distancing so they can remain on the construction site and maintain their progress despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“The masonry work on the recreation center is done and we’re doing a lot of framing work right now,” Daley said. “Electrical, plumbing and HVAC rough-ins are going in right now and we’re hopefully going to start doing drywall and other finishes in the next few weeks… There was some concern about supplies, but that hasn’t been an issue for us yet. Our owner has been on top of the whole COVID-19 situation and he’s provided us with sanitizer and hand-washing materials. We’ve had some toolbox talks about COVID-19 as well. We’ve been wearing masks, sanitizing daily and filling out daily health affidavits to make sure nobody’s getting sick.”
Inside the recreation center, framing work is continuing on the north side of the building, which will include the main foyer, front desk, office spaces and classrooms. The 24-hour fitness center is on roughly the same timeline, with insulation and drywall work to begin soon.
“We started framing about two weeks ago,” Daley said. “The next phase will be the rough-ins of the walls and then the insulation and drywall, as well as taping and painting of that area.”
Concrete slabs have been poured for the northeast end of the fieldhouse, which will feature the basketball and volleyball courts and other multipurpose activities. Crushed stone has been laid out on the southeast end, where the turf will eventually be applied for field activities like football, soccer, baseball and golf. Masonry work for the concession stand and restroom facilities have also taken shape.
“The turf will be applied near the end of the project after substantial completion,” Daley said. “We have to do some more finer graining of the stone and clean up any holes that may be out there since we have equipment running over it often, but it’s pretty close to finished grade… Equipment for the basketball and volleyball space is expected to come on June 1 and it’ll take about 3-to-4 weeks to install the equipment… When the building’s acclimated in early August, we’ll put the final flooring down and then a contractor come in and do all of the painting.”
On the southwest side of the recreation center, crews have dug out both the lap pool and the recreational pools and are in the early stages of pouring bases. Daley said the IDPH permit process initially slowed progress in the aquatics area, but workers have stepped up to get back on schedule in recent weeks. Daley said work on parking lots will begin in late July.
“We poured the smaller pool last week and we were able to pour half of the floor for the lap pool this week,” Daley said. “I hope to make another pour this week… We’re waiting to work on the parking lots since we have a lot of trucks coming in and out of the construction site. A lot of the curb, sidewalk and landscaping work will happen over the last month of the project.”