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Officials say a $1.2 million project to renovate Shiprock High's natatorium is nearly done

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SHIPROCK — Central Consolidated School District officials believe a $1.2 million project to renovate the facility that houses Shiprock High School's swimming pool will create a more inviting building.

Last week, crews with B&M Cillessen Construction Co., a Farmington-based contractor, were applying the finishing touches to the natatorium, the building that contains the pool.

Most of the renovation focused on the 25-year-old building. Crews also made one minor improvement to the 152,000-gallon pool itself, which was resurfaced about five years ago, according to Waynette Danley, the district's building and construction specialist. New lighting was installed in the pool while it was drained.

“I think the project is going pretty well,” Danley said.

The pool is primarily used for educational and medical purposes, according to CCSD spokesman James Preminger. He said CCSD students use the pool, as do patients from Northern Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock. About 10 to 12 patients a day use the pool and hot tub for physical therapy, Preminger said.

One addition was added to the building during the renovation. Members of the community will soon be able to rent a new party room near the pool for various events.

During a tour of the facility, Thomas Montanez, a superintendent at B&M Cillessen Construction, said all of the old fixtures in the men’s and women’s restrooms were replaced. Crews also installed new fixtures, including wall tiles, shower heads, flooring, toilets and shower stalls in each restroom.

Translucent panels were installed in each restroom to allow in natural light and brighten the interior. LED lighting fixtures throughout the facility also help liven up the building, according to Danley.

“It was dark, it wasn’t inviting,” Danley said of the old building. “This is inviting.”

A new roof was installed, and heating and air conditioning units on the roof were replaced. Also as part of the renovations, the fire alarm system was replaced.

Montanez said the metal-framed doors in the building were rusting, and they have since been replaced with fiberglass doors.

A rubberized, slip-resistant coating was also hand-applied to the concrete floor on the deck around the pool to prevent visitors from slipping.

New roll doors were installed and painted to allow access to a new outdoor picnic area on the south side of the building.

Six new metal picnic tables have also been installed outside, underneath canopies. Landscaping, including trees and plants, was also completed.

New security fencing was also built around the building, and the multi-color block exterior was stained to be one color.

Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627.

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