Swimming pool progress update

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The concrete pour for the new swimming pool floor is complete. An unseasonably mild November and December has provided Portzen Construction Inc. the perfect weather conditions for completing this portion of the project. (Press photo by Caroline Rosacker)

By Caroline Rosacker

The Guttenberg municipal swimming pool project is well underway and close to budget and schedule. 

A recent visit to the construction site and a meeting with Portzen Construction Superintendent Brian Vize provided an update on the project. 

Portzen Construction Inc., located in Dubuque, has been in the building business for several years. The original company, Mike Portzen Construction, began in 1983, and its first work was with several housing rehab projects in the Dubuque area. Mike Portzen Construction was incorporated in May of 1989, and the name was changed to Portzen Construction, Inc. 

Portzen Construction, specializing in commercial development, is a multi-faceted company. Its service coverage includes most of the state of Iowa and Southwestern Wisconsin. 

Portzen has completed to date an estimated six public swimming pools.

The pool construction project is running close to schedule. Concerns with the de-watering pumps due to incompatible power voltage and rising river levels this fall created a few challenges. 

The mild winter thus far has been a plus for this busy construction crew. 

Local contractor Jeff Friedlein of Friedlein Construction was in charge of the demolition of the pool. Original costs projected for this portion of the project were upwards of $60,000 to $70,000. Friedlein generously donated his time and equipment at a cost of $10,000 dollars. 

Friedlein Construction hauled away the garbage portion of the demolition, and Portzen recycled the remaining concrete and decreased its size to 6-12 in. pieces and used it for fill in the base of the pool floor. The leftover steel was recycled off-site and scrapped.

The old slide, which was in dire need of repairs and a liability for  public use, was recycled. 

Portzen Construction will complete the remainder of the pool project. 

The new pool will be a much sturdier, energy efficient and cost effective pool. 

A deeper crushed rock base, additional reinforcement bar and an increase in the depth of the pool floor are additions that will make the new pool more stable. 

A 6-ft. crushed rock base was used, raising the new pool floor by three feet. The parking area will rise five feet and be almost at street level. 

The old pool floor was 8-12 in. thick. The new pool floor will be 1-2 ft. thick, making the new pool two to three times stronger. 

Portzen representatives expressed appreciation for the extra cooperation they have received from Bard Concrete despite its seasonal closing. 

When we need concrete they open back up, call in their workers and deliver their product on time as needed," said Vize. 

It is hoped in the upcoming weeks to have the final concrete pours completed and the bathhouse buttoned up and ready for indoor work. 

The public can look forward to a one-meter diving platform, a 19- ft. 3-in water slide above the pool deck, water fountain features and lane flags for swimmers enjoying the back stroke and future swim team enthusiasts. An option for the insertion of a volleyball net and a permanent basketball hoop will add to the pool's use and entertainment.

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