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Contractor Whips Missouri Recreational Facility Into Shape

Sat April 15, 2000 - Midwest Edition
Megan Nichols

On most projects, physical exertion comes with construction on the site — not with the completed building. However, the Chesterfield Family Center, which is being built by MoDoCo Inc. in Springfield, MO, is a facility designed for working out, enjoying physical activities and promoting healthy lifestyles.

Chesterfield Family Center’s first phase, a 2,700-square-meter (30,000 sq. ft.) facility, is divided into two levels. The facility will house a gymnasium, an indoor track, a community room, a fitness center, an activity room and a child care center for members. The gymnasium has an indoor walking track above the court on the upper level; the gym is 21.2 by 38.8 meters (70 by 128 ft.) for a total of 806.4 square meters (8,960 sq. ft.). It measures 9.9 meters (32.8 ft.) from the bottom of the trusses with another 2.7 meters (9 ft.) in the center. A large commons area will accommodate future amenities to the facility.

Under the guidance of Victor Staelens, project manager, and Dennis Foos, project superintendent, MoDoCo began on-site work in February 1999. In a year’s time, a dramatic transformation has occurred. The fitness and recreational center is nearing completion — on schedule for the May 6, 2000 target. Crews benefited from two unusually mild winters and an accessible site.

“This was all open farm land. We did excavation, including some rock removal, and we dug out the basement,” Foos said.

From the project’s start, MoDoCo has worked closely with subcontractors to plan and update the construction schedule. The sequence of work and arrival of equipment are carefully coordinated. Equipment on-site is rented, owned by subcontractors, or part of the MoDoCo fleet. Equipment used to construct the new Chesterfield Family Center includes the following: trackhoes, backhoes, truck loaders, paving machine, scissor lifts, cranes, concrete curb machine, tractor, and forklift.

MoDoCo and its subcontractors have used the equipment to quickly transform an open field into a 16.2-hectare (40 acre) site and state-of-the-art facility. Currently, crews of approximately 50 are working on the following: masonry, metal studs, sheet rock, exterior finish system (EFIS), elevator installation, electrical rough in, plumbing rough in and preliminary clean up.

“About three weeks from now, we’ll be working on the concrete. We’re using colored concrete. The color is in the mix, and it breaks up into six-inch square designs. And, that is the finish,” Foos explained. “We’ll use approximately 35 cubic yards of color concrete.”

According to Foos, the depth of the pour will be 8.2 to 10.2 centimeters (3.5 to 4 in.). The crew will also continue with drywall and finishing (sheet rock), which is in process. Painting and carpet installation will follow. Also key to the interior finish is a series of mirrored walls. In many sections of the building, storefront windows are used for wall separations. The open, spacious atmosphere is further enhanced by exposed structural steel. Foos characterizes the center as “an open structure.”

Chesterfield Family Center is a project of the Springfield-Greene County Park Board and has garnered considerable community interest. Springfield residents are funding Phase I — the $2.9-million building being constructed by MoDoCo.

Future plans call for Phase II to include indoor/outdoor aquatic facilities and an adjoining Chesterfield Park that will have trails for walking, jogging, or running. Open play areas will be incorporated throughout the green space.

MoDoCo has constructed other notable community projects and civic landmarks such as the Springfield YMCA and the club house for the golf course in Bolivar, MO.

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