Reston Association soaks up lessons from delayed Lake Thoreau, Shadowood pool renovations

The newly renovated Lake Thoreau swimming pool is set to open this summer (courtesy Reston Association)

It’s no secret that the renovations of Lake Thoreau and Shadowood swimming pools were delayed by several months.

Now, with both facilities set to open this pool season, Reston Association says it could have done a better job with communication and investigating existing conditions before commencing with the projects.

RA Capital Projects Director Chris Schumaker dove into several lessons learned from both projects at a Board of Directors meeting on March 26 — a practice that is routinely conducted at project closeout.

He said RA could have done a better job communicating information about project delays to the public.

First approved by the board in 2018, the Lake Thoreau pool renovation was once expected to begin in 2020, prompting the facility to close that year. However, rising material costs and limited contractor availability created delays that continued into 2022. Construction finally began that August and ended in December 2023.

Construction on the Shadowood pool renovation was expected to begin in early 2023 and take four months. Instead, construction began in May 2023 and ended in November 2023.

“The capital department and communications department now hold regular meetings to discuss project progress and communications with the membership,” Schumaker said.

RA hopes to step away from project phasing and build time for permitting and site issues into existing project schedules, staff said.

Lake Thoreau’s delays were attributed partly to permitting starting five months later than anticipated. For Shadowood, RA discovered several pool beam damage, delaying the project schedule. The project was also planned in phases, which extended the life of the project, Schumaker said.

RA also plans to complete tasks like advanced site evaluation and destructive testing before creating a project schedule. Severe rot found inside Lake Thoreau pool’s bathhouse resulted in unanticipated work, and inadequate soil — an issue that didn’t surface in a geotechnical study — ultimately delayed the construction of a retaining wall.

At Shadowood, more than 80% of the pool beam and shell was damaged, requiring extensive and unplanned repairs.

Both facilities are expected to open up for the 2024 pool season, which is set to begin in mid-May.

Read more on FFXnow…

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