Anderson Aquatics opening delayed to mid-November

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Over the years, Anderson Indoor Aquatics Center has closed for various repairs, and in October 2016 the center closed to undergo major renovations and upgrades.

Jay Schmidt, an engineer at Fort Knox’s Directorate
of Public Works’ Environmental Services Division, said the the upgrades cost $2.9 million and the center is set to reopen mid-November.

Schmidt pointed out that after a walk- through was conducted, two problems were discovered. Although the swimming pool floor meets safety needs, he said they wanted to enhance and make sure it’s the best possible product. The floor will have a grittier surface which prevents the chance of slipping and falling.

“When you walk on a wet surface it’s fine,” he said. “If you are running there is a chance (of a) slip and fall.”

Adding a grittier surface will take about two weeks, explained Schmidt.

The other issue was the vaporization of the cleaning agent that was used to clean the stainless steel ceilings, Schmidt said. He pointed out that this reaction left the ceilings in a less than desirable condition.

“Now we have a product to clean that off and bring the shine back so we get the best light enhancement, (which) is a safety concern because we want to make sure the lifeguards can see the bottom of the pool. That will take about two weeks to buff and polish.”

Although there were a couple of setbacks, Schmidt said the upgrades included removing the exterior structure and adding a new roof, walls, doors and windows to make sure the facility is more energy efficient.

“We put in two new (large fans), which can stir up a hurricane,” explained Schmidt. “We have a brand new slide (and) a new diving board. We took all of the old paint off of the floors and put a new paint on the new surface. That includes the spray park inside for kids. We redid the interior of the swimming pool (and) put a new coating and new tiling in the regular pool.”

NCAA regulations were used for air circulation and lighting and the air ducts were also upgraded. Schmidt said the lighting was changed so direct lighting doesn’t shine into the swimmer’s eyes. The indirect lighting will also assist lifeguards because they will no longer have blind spots due to lighting inside of the pool.

Schmidt added that the standards in some of the showers were upgraded to meet the Americans with Disabilities Act standards. A parent changing area was added in the male changing area for fathers who bring their daughters to the pool.

The fire mass notification system throughout the entire facility was also upgraded to add horns and red and white strobe lights to match the other buildings on the installation, said Schmidt. Security locks were also added to gates that will send out an alarm if someone leaves the doors to the facility ajar or exits through one of the rear doors that aren’t used for leaving the building.

One of the past problems with the pool was water leakage and Schmidt said those issues have been solved.

Another energy efficient upgrade was the pool boiler system which now has a better heating system.

A new chemical process was also included in the upgrades. The copper ionization process, which is an old process used by settlers when they added a silver dollar and a copper penny to water for treatment. The current process helps reduce the amount of chlorine that’s used to treat the water against germs and bacteria, explained Schmidt. This process will also help the water in the facility as well as decreasing deterioration of an individual’s bathing suit.

“(Copper ionization) is something that was used in the NASA space system to treat water,” he said. “It’s used overseas (and individuals) can use it in (their) private swimming pool in the United States, (to prevent) using chlorine.”

He added that public swimming pools require the use of chlorine so tests can be done to ensure the proper safety procedures are being conducted.

“We are trying to help reach the safe minimum and still meet regulations,” Schmidt said.

Although there has been a slight delay to reopening the pool, Schmidt said they are ready to turn the pool over so it can be used by customers.

“We want to make sure it will be right for them and not have to close it down and fix these things later,” said Schmidt. “Mr. (Randy) Moore, (the director of Fort Knox’s Family, and Morale, Welfare and Recreation), quote to us was he, ‘wants us to take care of the customer.’” n