Events center construction slowed by drainage issues

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Randy Kamradt, project construction supervisor, said construction of the building and adjacent sidewalks will be completed by Aug. 31, about 10 to 12 days later than he projected previously.

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer

Lack of drainage will likely delay the completion of the construction portion of the Special Events Center, according to project construction supervisor Randy Kamradt.

The vice president of the contracting firm DavTek said the ground around the 85,000-square-foot facility has not been graded and drainage mechanisms for the arena ramps have not been installed.

As a result, rain water has collected in portions of the arena floor, which lies six feet below ground.

Last week, county road crews used vacuum trucks to remove about 2 to 3 inches of rain water from a corner of the arena, Kamradt said.

Water that collected around the outside of the building hindered the pouring of concrete for sidewalks and the resulting mud created difficulties for vehicles and workers.

The arena is being built on a parcel of land west of the Curry County Fairgrounds.

“It’s not uncommon at all to have trouble with mud on a site,” Kamradt said.

Kamradt said construction of the building and adjacent sidewalks will be completed by Aug. 31, about 10 to 12 days later than he projected previously.

“That’s what I’ve been telling the commissioners — we’re going to be awfully, awfully close,” he said.

County Manager Lance Pyle said engineers are working on a topographical survey in preparation for parking lot construction and dirt crews will begin grading and removing dirt within the next 30 days.

Because of funding availability, building construction started before the lot was completely graded, he said.

“We can only do what we can do with the money that we have,” he said.

Kamradt said though it would be ideal to have all grading and drainage plans completed prior to beginning a construction project, it is not uncommon, particularly in government projects, for phases to be prioritized based on funding.

“I’d like to see the parking lot moving alongside the building construction but we don’t live in a perfect world (and) that second phase just hasn’t started yet,” he said.

When the facility is complete, rain water will still flow down the ramps located at each end of the building toward the arena floor.

However steel-grate covered, concrete drains complete with sump pumps and grinders, will evacuate water and debris from the base of each ramp before it reaches the arena, Kamradt said.