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Wellness Center Expansion Faces Slight Winter Weather Delay

The highly anticipated Wellness Center Pool expansion project was met with challenges this past month. The $31.25 million project was struck with delays from severe weather events that had lasting effects on the construction site. 

 The first few weeks of January brought intense snow and extremely cold weather, which adversely affected construction.

The expansion includes a new competition pool, a wellness pool and other amenities like locker rooms and a ninja-cross course that will be available for students to use. 

“It resulted in about an eight day delay,” said Brian Muehlbeier, Senior Construction Project Manager at USD.

Due to the winter storm, there had been a large pile up of snow on the roof of the new expansion. For construction to continue, the snow had to be removed, either by scraping it off, or waiting for it to melt, both of which caused concerns for the safety of the workers on site of the project.

“We worry about the workers putting their lives at risk to get to the job.” Muehlbeier said. “We would rather have the job come in a little later than have someone get hurt in a car accident trying to get to work.”  

Weather was not the only thing to slow down construction on the new expansion. Late material deliveries also delayed the progress of the project. According to Muehlbeier, workers have been putting in the extra hours to make up for the delays that took place throughout the month of January.

“They’re doing everything they can to regain the lost time,” said Muehlbeier.

With the extra time that the workers are putting in, Muehlbeier anticipates that construction is still expected to finish in the fall of 2024.