On March 31, the day before the Billings parks department started registering kids for swimming lessons and summer camps, an arson fire heavily damaged the Rose Park pool building. The fire burned plumbing, wires, and roofing, causing damage estimated at $300,000. In the 10 weeks between the blaze and the scheduled pool opening day, the department scrambled to fix what needed to be fixed to operate safely this season. With the help of local contractors, the Rose Park pool was ready for swimmers and sliders on Wednesday as scheduled. More than 400 people were poolside by early afternoon as the temperature climbed above 90.
The park department’s long-term plan includes renovating the Rose Park pool building next year, so the repairs were designed just to get through this summer. The fire released asbestos, which required mitigation and subsequent air testing. A damaged portion of the building had to be demolished. A temporary roof was installed over a portion of the building. Temporary water service had to be installed. Blackened cinder block walls were repainted.
“There was a whole lot of people involved in making this happen,” Parks Planner Mark Jarvis said last week. CTA Architects Engineers helped the department obtain needed certifications and provided analysis of building safety. Dick Anderson Construction crews reframed damaged portions of the building. Then roofers, plumbers and electricians made repairs. Jarvis has credited the city’s legal, administrative, and purchasing departments for expediting temporary repairs, which were expected to cost $150,000.
Last year, about 43,000 adults and children splashed into Rose Park pool between the first week of June and the third week of August. The pool is again a cool summer destination, thanks to the concerted efforts of staff in several city departments and the good work of local businesses. Congratulations to everyone who helped get the pool ready in time for a hot opening day.
DANE JORGENSEN, CTA STRUCTURAL ENGINEER:
Following the fire, the City of Billings Parks and Recreation Department turned to CTA for a structural assessment. The assessment led to an environmental assessment, which led to CTA providing repair drawings, then acting as a general contractor to solicit bids, coordinate subs, and schedule work and inspections with the goal of meeting the regularly scheduled opening date.
Though these are not the typical CTA services and deliverables, this was a particularly rewarding project as we provided a very real service to the Billings community. It was interesting to note that when talking to folks spanning multiple generations, most would smile as they remembered spending summer days at this facility.
Special thanks to all of the CTA team members that helped out on this one: Dayton Rush, Tim Mulholland, Keith Cron, Jim Baldwin, Alan Anseth, Jerry Pimley, and Alan Brummett.