Thursday, February 16, 2012

PLU's pool roof breaks

January snowfall causes support beam to fail

By Justin Buchanan, Sports Editor

Facilities workers are currently holding studies of their own. Their study: examining why the laminated beam in the PLU pool’s roof cracked and failed after snowfall Jan. 18.

Roof Crew
Crews work to stabilize Pacific Lutheran University’s pool’s roof after heavy snow fall Jan. 16 that caused a support beam to crack.  Braces have since been put in place as PLU investigates the roof’s stability. No one was hurt when the beam cracked. Photo by Justin Buchanan.

After a support beam in the ceiling of the PLU pool’s roof cracked, PLU contacted numerous contractors and specialists to understand why the beam failed, director of construction John Kannis said.

Western Wood, a lumber manufacturer, is set to investigate the cracked beam. Kannis estimates that it will take about one or two days to get Western Wood’s results.

Western Wood is examining the design of the building, making sure they materials they provided PLU were up to code.

After that, PLU will consult Coughlin Porter Lundeen on how to address the issue.

“From that point, it will probably take Coughlin Porter Lundeen some time to digest all that information,” Kannis said.

Coughlin Porter Lundeen and Pacific Lutheran University officials will gather to discuss plans to address the pool.

“We will be sitting down with all the stakeholders in that pool,” Kannis said. “Explaining to them, this is what happened, this is why it happened, this is the proposed fix and this is how long we think it will take for that to happen.”

Kannis was unable to provide any specific timeline on when the pool will be finished.

“It’s not cut and dry,” Kannis said. “It’s not in four months it will be done.”

Kannis was unable to provide a specific budget on the pool repairs.

There have no been no serious repairs or updates to the pool, which was originally constructed in 1965. There have been minor maintenances such as updating drains in the pool itself.

With the possibility of updating the pool, the Swimming team has been forced to relocate to other practice faculties such as the Federal Way Aquatic Center.

“They’re really lucky, that this [Federal Way Aquatic Center] has become their “home” pool to start next [conference] weekend at pool that they have been training in for the past few weeks,” said assistant swim coach Courtney Eronemo “it creates a good comfort zone.”

Some members of the swim team view the roof collapsing as a chance for PLU to improve both the pool and the swim team by expanding the pool from six lanes to eight lanes.

“We have this huge new nice facility going up,” swim team captain Elizabeth Althauser said. “Why not just say hey, it’s time for a new pool.”