Pool in Candler finally ready for classes Monday after two months of construction

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Construction did not come without its own dangers for contract workers.

By Jason B. Hogan

After two months of renovation, the pool in Candler Physical Education Center is finally reopening for classes.

José A. Sauceda, the college foreman for heating, ventilation and air conditioning, said as soon as everything is safe he will turn the area back over to the kinesiology and dance department.

Last semester, professors were advised to change their core curriculum.

Leslie Bleamaster, interim kinesiology chair in fall, said the construction cost for the work by J.A. Plumbing was $156,484.

It began with renovations of the natatorium exhaust systems.

The next step caused the closure of the pool for installation of a new piping system.

During the final stages of renovation, the plumbing company encountered a problem with the drainage system, which was not allowing the water level to recede.

Sauceda said that it had to do with a newly added skimming system used in the pool’s water filtration process.

“We added a skimming system, which is on the top side of the pool,” Sauceda said. “One out of the 13 was not working properly. It has a small crack.”

Sauceda said, “We encountered a few situations, but we’re on schedule. We’re ahead of schedule.”

Kinesiology and dance Chair Bill Richardson said the pool is scheduled for completion today.

During the conclusion of the renovation project, two contractors employed with J.A. Plumbing were involved in a minor accident.

David Edison and Frank Lozano were on a 14-foot ladder working with a duct when they lost their balance.

Lozano, employed by the company for the past few months, sustained a shoulder injury and was taken to the hospital for examination.

Joe Chavez, J.A. Plumbing field supervisor, said his injuries were not serious.

“They didn’t keep him in the hospital,” Chavez said. “He was back to work the next day.”

“We train them as best as we can,” Chavez said. “He was new so, it happens.”

Edison, a veteran plumber for more than 15 years, has been with J.A. Plumbing for seven or eight years, Chavez said.

“The one that was highest up was OK,” Chavez said, “He knows what to do. It’s kind of hard to teach them how to fall off of a ladder.”

Following the incident, district safety coordinator Roy Brown inspected the area and also spoke with one of the owners of J.A. Plumbing.

“I asked if they were following the OSHA requirements,” Brown said “I have to assume that they were because there is no way for me to know since I wasn’t there.”

Occupational Safety and Health Administration is a governmental agency under the U.S. Department of Labor entrusted with the creation of safety regulations for workplace environments.

“I didn’t have the opportunity to talk to any of the employees,” Brown said, “because they weren’t there at the time.”

Brown said, “There is nothing that happened that would hold the district liable.”


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