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Indoor aquatic center impresses Mitchell park board

At center, Puetz Corporation construction superintendent Jed Liedtke gives the Mitchell Parks and Recreation Board a tour of the city's new indoor aquatic facility, which is under construction on North Main Street. (Evan Hendershot / Republic)1 / 4
Mitchell Aquatics and Recreation Coordinator Jamie Henkel, bottom left, and Parks and Recreation Board member Ryan Tupper look on at the construction site for the city of Mitchell's indoor aquatic center under construction on North Main Street. (Evan Hendershot / Republic)2 / 4
Third from right, Puetz Corporation construction superintendent Jed Liedtke gives the Mitchell Parks and Recreation Board a tour of the city's new indoor aquatic facility, which is under construction on North Main Street. (Evan Hendershot / Republic)3 / 4
At left, Jed Liedtke, construction superintendent with Puetz Corporation, gives city officials a tour of the indoor aquatic center under construction on North Main Street. Also pictured are Mayor Jerry Toomey, second from left; City Attorney Justin Johnson, second from right; and Parks and Recreation Director Nathan Powell. (Evan Hendershot / Republic)4 / 4

If you thought it looked big from the outside, just wait until you get a look at the inside of Mitchell's new indoor aquatic center.

On a day as frigid as the March groundbreaking of the $8 million voter-approved facility, the Mitchell Parks and Recreation Board toured the mammoth structure that has sprouted from the dirt on North Main Street. And the reviews were glowing.

"I think it's going to be a great investment for the city," board member Randy Seppala said. "I also think that once we do have it in operation, I think people will be a little bit more on board with it, too."

With a roof now overhead and plastic on its way to line the openings in the building to protect the project from the elements, much of the work is completed on the project that's set to be finished next summer. On Thursday, the project was focused on the competition pool and the mechanical room for the facility.

The project, which is being overseen on site by Puetz Corporation, is coming along swimmingly. And Puetz construction superintendent Jed Liedtke is excited for area residents to see the final product.

"I'd personally like to thank you guys for making this a really nice facility," Liedtke said. "I can't wait until the people actually get to see this for the first time. It is beautiful."

While the structure looks big from the outside, it feels even bigger after walking through one of the two massive holes in the building that will ultimately become large glass windows. Those glass windows will be one of the last major additions to the building, as Liedtke said workers need a point of entry while working on the project.

After Thursday's meeting and tour, Seppala was impressed with the overall size of the building.

"It looks a lot bigger on the inside than it does on the outside," Seppala said.

Liedtke's tour gave the handful of people in attendance a lay of the land at the facility, giving hard-hat wearing board members a sense of what the floor plan will be at the site.

On the east side of the building, near the Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary playground, will be the competition pool. To the north of the competition pool will be spectator seating. To the west of the competition pool will be a recreation pool, which will be in the same proximity as the large waterslide.

After getting a chance to show his tour group around, Liedtke said he's looking forward to seeing the project completed.

"We're pushing as hard as we can to get done as early as possible," Liedtke said.

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