With groundbreaking set for August 30, Merriam leaders get details on construction schedule for new $36 million community and aquatic center

A rendering showing the construction site plan for the new community center. Construction for Merriam’s new community center at Vavra Park is set to begin in September.

With work expected to being next month, Merriam leaders went over construction details this week for the new community center.

Meredith Hauck, assistant city administrator, gave Merriam officials an update at Monday’s council meeting on construction logistics for the new community center. McCarthy Builders Company is overseeing construction.

In a work session after the meeting, city leaders arranged another work session Aug. 27 to review the design committee’s preliminary site plan. The total budget for the construction project is now $36.6 million, including TIF funding for the parking structure.

Most construction traffic for the Merriam Community Center will take place from Ikea Way.

After a groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Aug. 30, site workers will begin decommissioning the current Merriam Aquatic Center and Vavra Park. In October, McCarthy will add a 6-foot chain link fence around the construction site as well as cameras to document and share videos and photos of the progress.

Demolition is slated to begin sometime in October or November, after which site workers will begin grading the site and installing utilities, which is expected to continue through March 2019.

After utilities are installed, site workers are set to begin pouring concrete through July 2019, with construction of the main facility to take place from July through November 2019.

Installation of the indoor and outdoor pools should begin in September 2019 and be completed in May 2020. Completion of the entire project is set for summer 2020.

Hauck said site workers will be parking on site to avoid taking up parking spaces in the area. All equipment will also stay on site through the remainder of construction to avoid impacting daily traffic. McCarthy will also regularly hose down the site for dust control.

Construction work hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Hauck said, adding that McCarthy “will not be going to 10 p.m. on a regular basis” and instead will maintain a “normal” work day schedule. McCarthy is allowed to make exceptions to its work hours, according to city code, but Hauck said those exceptions will be communicated to neighbors in advance.

Hauck said most construction traffic will occur on Ikea Way. Neighbors and motorists will be informed of road closures in advance. One concern from neighbors who live on Slater Street is possible relocation of their mailboxes from the west side of the street to a consolidated mailbox unit on the east side. Hauck said a majority of residents would need to agree before the U.S. Postal Service will make any changes to move the mailboxes.