Winter waterproofing of Waterpark in the Poconos Mountains required switch to W. R. MEADOWS MEL-ROL
The opposite of desert conditions greeted this Kalahari project
Upon hearing the name Kalahari, most people will conjure up images of a hot, arid desert in southern Africa teeming with predatory wildlife. That is quite the opposite of cold winter weather and the need for waterproofing. But that’s what EDA Contractors will most likely think of when they hear the name Kalahari. Phase 1 of the new Kalahari Resorts & Conventions in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains opened to rave reviews in July 2015.
“We were scheduled to begin waterproofing the indoor Waterpark in December 2013,” said John Rakus, Estimator for EDA, a subcontractor on the project based out of Bensalem, Pennsylvania. “But in a November meeting with the general contractor, we noticed a problem with the waterproofing material that was specified. It could only be installed at temperatures 40° or above, so we told them, ‘If we use your product, we can’t start working until spring.'”
Subcontractor reaches out to W. R. MEADOWS for solution
“Since pushing back a project like this for three or four months wasn’t going to happen, I reached out to Tim Durso with W. R. MEADOWS,” continued Rakus. “As soon as I explained the problem, Tim immediately recommended their MEL-ROL waterproofing membrane and we passed on the change request to the general contractor and the architects.”
“We did have another membrane product specified,” said Jason Sorci, Partner/CFO of Architectural Design Consultants, Inc. in Lake Delton, Wisconsin, “but after reviewing their MEL-ROL recommendation, we had no problem approving the switch.”
W. R. MEADOW’S MEL-ROL waterproofing system is a flexible, versatile, dependable, bituminous, roll-type waterproofing membrane. It is composed of a nominally 56- mil thick layer of polymeric waterproofing membrane on a heavy duty, four-mil thick, cross-laminated polyethylene carrier film.
Waterproofing eventually commenced in January 2014 and continued until early 2015. “We were doing a vertical application of MEL-ROL on 27-foot high walls of the foundation for the waterpark area,” said Rakus. “We also waterproofed the foundation under the corridor that led back to the hotel. In all we installed over 70,000 sq. ft. of MEL-ROL.”
One hundred year storm can’t stop MEL-ROL
“Looking back on that winter, the construction crews faced some pretty rough weather challenges,” said Sorci. “Already faced with a tough schedule, they were hit with one of those 100-year snow storms and some significant cold spells.”
“The weather was a challenge alright, but we didn’t have a problem with the product or the installation,” confirmed Rakus, recalling what the crews experienced at the high elevation levels of the mountains. “The peel-and-stick nature of the product simplified its installation and the adhesives stuck tight despite below-freezing temperature. With three-man crews, we were able to install an average around 1,500 sq. ft. of MEL-ROL every workday.
“Of course, our work had to be coordinated with when the concrete was ready for us,” continued Rakus. “We might be off for a couple of days or a couple of weeks, and then we’d be back on the job. Nevertheless, we completed 90 percent of the work in the first eight months. Afterwards, we would be called back periodically to handle things like detail work on sleeves when the piping was installed.”
New resort is a Keystone gem
Opened in late summer, Kalahari Resorts & Conventions is the largest Waterpark resort in Pennsylvania. The main attraction, of course, is the indoor Waterpark itself – 100,000 sq. ft. of water slides, pools, fountains and more under a retractable roof. Attached to the park are a 457- room hotel, a 30,000 sq. ft. family entertainment center, a 100,000 sq. ft. convention facility, a spa and a wide assortment of eating and drinking establishments.
With over half of the nation’s indoor Waterparks in their portfolio, Architectural Design Consultants’ plans for Phase 2 are already underway. In March 2015, construction began on an addition to the hotel that will boost total capacity to 1,000 rooms. Work also is being done to double the Waterpark space to 200,000 total sq. ft. and expand the outdoor pool deck.
When completed, the 150-acre Kalahari Resorts & Conventions will be America’s largest indoor Waterpark. The current titleholder is the Kalahari Resorts property located near Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio.
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