A look inside the construction of Soaring Eagle Waterpark and Hotel
Frank Cloutier said the Soaring Eagle Waterpark and Hotel brings a fresh change away from gaming and entertainment to a destination of diverse entertainment.
Cloutier, public relations director for the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, said the success of the project was in the hands of the construction company.
Cloutier said the tribe decided to hire Horizon Construction Group of Wisconsin for their experience of constructing 18 other water park properties. The architecture firm working on the project, Thalden Boyd Emery, recommended Horizon Construction, he said.
“Another reason we hired Horizon Construction is they agreed to bring their specialty skills in, but they agreed to hire the labor here,” he said.
Because of the agreement, the water park and hotel was able to hire local people, he said.
The construction process of the 45,000-square-foot resort took about one year, and Cloutier said it was so fast-moving because of the mild winter.
“We were very fortunate,” he said. “There weren’t many delays.”
The construction team’s ability to work closely and communicate with project managers and architects made the process run smoothly.
Cloutier said the design and architecture was a team effort, focused on a woodland natural-botanical look, texture and feel.
“I think it’s been accomplished,” he said. “When you look at all the stones and artwork, everything looks natural.”
Horizon Construction worked with project management and hired around 40 sub-contractors and suppliers, with a total of about 225 people working on the project at any given time.
“There were a lot of different suggestions,” he said. “From time to time, Horizon would jump in and share their opinions with us, which is very helpful.
In both the design and construction, Cloutier said they utilized “green” applications and processes. The windows have a geothermal heating system that heats the property with the energy in the ground.
Because of a reclamation system that allows 1.3 million gallons of water to be simultaneously both clean and filtered, he said relatively little water is used.
Jason Fischl, project superintendent for Horizon Construction Group, said there weren’t many challenges except the aggressive timeline of construction.
“We came in and it was just an open lot,” he said.
The 17 acres of land was raised four feet before construction was started, he said.
Four separate crews worked on the Waterpark portion and the hotel portion to eventually meet in the middle.
The focus on energy-efficient and green was carried throughout construction, Fischl said.
“Equipment is all energy-efficient, top-of-the-line,” he said.
Products were also recycled as much as possible.
“For that to work as well as it did in six weeks is crazy,” he said.
Cody Benish, project engineer for Horizon, said the Soaring Eagle Waterpark and Hotel is the quickest water park construction the company has ever built.
“It’s been a pleasure to work with them,” Benish said. “It’s been a great experience from budgeting to closeout.”
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