At Last: West Rec is Back

Ten months after a sprinkler head malfunction caused substantial damage to the West Recreation Center, the building is finally opening in stages with locker rooms open on May 27, the lower level on May 31 and the upper floor on June 13. It’s been a long road with unexpected delays, unforeseen problems and permitting and licensing issues, but the  result is a building with myriad improvements that members will enjoy.

Troy Llopis, left, project manager for Nordby Construction, and OVA Maintenance Manager Bill Wells, in the new West Rec ground floor. (Photo by Tom Tremont)

It was an opportunity to upgrade the building. On the ground floor, a sound barrier in the ceiling was added and the floor was upgraded to a Nydree floor, specifically designed for dancing, yoga and other physical activities. New LED lighting includes motion sensors for automatic shutoff when the room is not in use. The women’s bathroom now meets ADA requirements including changes in the height of soap dishes and hooks. Upstairs, the sprinkler heads were replaced and a pressure relief valve was installed to prevent another malfunction.

When the damage happened in August, 90% of the buildings’ sheetrock and flooring on both levels had to be removed as did parts of the ground floor ceiling and restroom partitions. National Response, a company specializing in damage remediation, was brought for moisture extraction, demolition and clean-up. Nordby Construction, the company that led remodeling of the East Rec, was hired to do the repairs.

This Spring, when permits had been applied for and it looked like opening the building was imminent, the upper-level parking came under fire for non-compliance with ADA requirements. Although the reconstructed parking area eliminated one ADA spot the pathway from that spot to the main entrance ramp has been newly paved and the slope greatly reduced.

Bill Wells, OVA maintenance manager, thinks all the changes are for the best. “Although the delays have been frustrating and the re-opening is a lot later that we thought, the West Rec is a much better building for our members to use and enjoy. I think people will find that the changes we’ve made will increase their ability to enjoy their activities here.”

Other improvements to the West Rec include new walkways that repaired root damage and eliminated trip hazards from the parking lot to the bocce courts and the walkway between the pool and the horseshoe court. The framework of the upper floor entry was to be repainted and a new awning installed during the week Of May 30. The tennis courts are being resurfaced and are expected to be available for play on June 15. And sometime this summer, Permaculture Artisans in Sebastopol will submit designs for the land under the solar canopy that will fix erosion issues and recommend a landscape of native flowers, pollinators and fire-resistant plants.