Pool revamp finally begins, Kutler permits still pending

By Eli Haims

The school has received permits and has begun construction on the pool, Head of Campus Operations and Construction J.D. De Matte said. The Harvard-Westlake website has reported that permits for the Kutler Center have been granted and construction has begun. The pool permits were granted Nov. 7, and the next day, part of the road next to Taper Gymnasium was ripped up to begin the electrical phase of work.

A new electrical system is being installed to increase the current power four-fold. The first stage of the pool construction will be laying the foundation.

A retaining wall will be built adjacent to the main driveway, and a wall will be continued around the perimeter. De Matte said the pool has to be open by early-to-mid August, in time for the start of the 2012-2013 school year.

There will be about seven months of “hard core construction” and the remaining time will be “fine tuning,” he said.

President Thomas C. Hudnut said about half of the funding for the pool has been donated by Peter and Judy Copses (Henry ’14, John ’14), who turned over the first shovel at the ground-breaking Tuesday.

The construction of the Kutler Center, which bridges Mudd Library and Seaver, will begin as soon as the permits are received.

“Once I get the Kutler permit, we will be immediately inside the building, framing and doing our structural stuff to move forward,” De Matte said.

De Matte said that he had hoped to get the permits for the Kutler Center before now.

“It’s been difficult getting them,” he said last week. “The city is tough to get through, and it’s a complicated project with buildings connecting other buildings and what have you. Two buildings, height requirements, extra bathroom requirements, [Americans with Disabilities Act] requirements. There’s a lot of stuff that triggers when you put two buildings together.”

The Kutler Center will be a free standing building about an inch away from the Library and Seaver. It will be connected to the two other buildings by rubber gaskets.

“It’s really a building on its own,” he said. “It doesn’t touch the others, it’s about an inch apart.”

De Matte said that the Kutler Center construction will also take approximately seven months.

Two construction teams will simultaneously be working, one on the bridge to house the Kutler Center and the other to work on the remodel of the library.

The team working on the Kutler Center will begin by doing caisson and foundation work, while the team working on the library remodel will start framing.

De Matte said that he has been keeping environmentally friendliness in mind during the construction.

The glass in the Kutler Center will be double glazed, which increases insulation. The pool is going to have high efficiency heaters and power flow regulators, which also increase energy efficiency.

De Matte hopes to have the building completed for the first day of school.

“We’re getting down to the wire,” he said. “It always makes you a little nervous, but we have to do the best we can.”

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