The city of Bridgeton, Missouri, needed a new community center and recreation space. Since the existing facility was outdated, the City Council wanted to create an inviting recreation center that would excite the community and serve as a gathering place for residents of all ages.
The City Council selected Holland Construction Services as its construction manager for this project because of the team’s professionalism and expertise in building recreation centers. During the selection process, Holland made it clear the project would be a team effort. Prior to the start of construction, Holland worked with the design team and the City to develop the required facility program within their budget.
Bridgeton Recreation Center Challenges
The Bridgeton City Council’s primary goal was to give the community a new recreation center that offered family-oriented activities not available at the existing center. Because of the time of year construction was to start and the site chosen for the new center, the project presented a couple challenges. First, with an October start date, the team faced the approach of winter, which could potentially cause schedule delays. Second, the project site was located adjacent to and behind the existing community center, which was to remain operational during construction and demolished upon completion. This provided challenges for construction logistics and phasing as well as site circulation and safety challenges.
Constructing a Facility for a Wide Array of Parks and Recreation Activities
Bridgeton’s new recreation center needed to be home to many different parks and recreation activities. Even though this was a complex project, Holland was familiar with the nuances of recreation spaces and equipment from previous work on YMCAs, school gymnasiums and outdoor sports complexes, municipal sports parks, indoor and outdoor aquatics facilities, and fitness centers. Holland had also previously worked with Councilman Hunsaker, the project’s aquatic center consultant, on projects including the Salem Family Aquatic Center in Illinois. Drawing on Holland’s experience and that of Councilman Hunsaker and the project architect, Hastings + Chivetta, the team successfully created a multi-purpose space containing:
- Indoor aquatic center with a pool, water slide, current channel, and interactive children’s play structure
- Fitness center
- Two-court gymnasium
- Indoor running track
- Aerobics room
- Game room (e.g., billiards, ping pong, card games)
- Community meeting rooms
- Parks and Recreation department offices
Staying on Schedule
Holland broke ground on the project in October of 2014. With the fall start, winter conditions not only presented a challenge, but Bridgeton also experienced a particularly wet spring in 2015 that created adverse working conditions and schedule challenges.
During this time, communication was a critical component to the success of the project. The Holland team held weekly on-site meetings with the subcontractors to discuss progress and provided the City with weekly reports. These progress reports kept the City updated on the progress of the past week, outlook for the current week, and any pending concerns or delays. This also allowed the City to stay abreast of any decisions that needed to be made related to managing the schedule for on-time completion.
Despite the weather challenges, Holland was able to complete the facility with little variation from the original plan and in complete agreement with the City.
Building on a Functioning Campus
One of Holland’s unique qualifications is the vast experience building around occupied facilities. In this case, Holland prepared a site-specific safety plan for the Bridgeton Recreation Center, starting with clear communication with the City about the work activities to be performed prior to commencing with the activity. Work areas were separated and protected from occupied areas with cones, barriers, or other temporary barricades; dust and noise were controlled to allow the existing facility to maintain daily operations without interruption; and any concerns were openly communicated and control measures immediately established. With up-front planning and continuous communication by Holland, the result was minimal disruption of the functioning community center and a smooth transition to the new recreation center once construction was complete.
Holland delivered a new 56,000 square foot recreation center for the City of Bridgeton and demolished the former facility upon completion. The $14.4 million complex has been well received by the residents of Bridgeton; memberships in some parks and recreation programs have increased by several hundred percent since the new center’s grand opening, and the center is a thriving community gathering place. Tours are conducted regularly by Bridgeton staff for representatives of other area communities seeking to build their own recreation center patterned after Bridgeton’s.
“The City Council was extremely impressed with the level of professionalism and expertise expressed by each member of the Holland team.” -Walt Siemsglusz, Director of Parks and Recreation, City of Bridgeton