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Indoor aquatic center nears completion

The Mitchell City Council and others on Monday tour the $8 million indoor aquatic center addition slated to open in June at the Mitchell Recreation Center. (Republic / Andersen)

The size of the indoor aquatic center addition to the Mitchell Recreation Center strikes you first.

"You can't explain to people how big it is," remarked City Council Member Jeff Smith after touring the $8 million construction area Monday.

The public will get a chance to see for itself in June.

The project is one and a half months from completion, said Robin Miller, with project architect MSH. About two more weeks of work remain on the interior, and then workers will turn to the exterior, Miller said.

The recreation pool's large slide has been delivered to Mitchell. Work is continuing on two giant smart-glass window areas. Connected to a sensor on the roof, the windows will grow darker as the sun gets brighter.

And, Miller said, the project is under budget.

The indoor aquatic facility was approved by 54 percent of Mitchell voters in 2015. The city will pay the bulk of the aquatic center bill. The Mitchell Aquatic Club pledged $1 million toward the project. Other money comes from a tax on hotel and motel patrons.

"It's such a beautiful job," said Council Member Susan Tjarks as Miller pointed out special features, including a dual chlorine/ultraviolet light water treatment system.

Five distinct pool areas fit inside the beige speckled concrete block walls and white steel ceiling. The pool features roughly an equal mix of recreation and competitive uses.

Water pipes have been tested under pressure to make sure they're ready to begin filling.

Blue tile features adorn the upper walls, and tile is being placed in locker rooms.

"We've been working tile for a while," Miller said.

The next big change will come when water fills the concrete containers.