UOP nearing completion of improvements, including new ramps | ParkRecord.com

UOP nearing completion of improvements, including new ramps

Alan Maguire, The Park Record

Construction continues at the Utah Olympic Park. The park is undergoing $5.1 million in renovations, the jewel of which is a redesign of the aerials training ramps and pool.

Colin Hilton, CEO and president of the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation, the nonprofit that manages the park, said the current goal is to open up the new big air pool facility the week of June 15.

"We’re pushing to the finish but all things look very good to open on that week," he said. "Our biggest goal has been to provide the least amount of interruption to our athletes who are training in the pool."

Hilton credited the "unseasonably warm" weather for the steady pace of construction. "The lack of snow we received through the winter actually allowed us to get the majority of the earth work and footings for the new ramps all set in place before winter really set in," he said. "The work this past early spring has been primarily to put in all the steel infrastructure that creates the base of these new jumps and now we’re putting the actual ski surface on each of the seven new ramps that are going up."

In addition to the big air project, the park is undergoing various infrastructure improvements, including road reconstruction, parking expansion, and utility line work.

"Pouring concrete pool decks and putting in eventual light fixtures and sound system and all the finishing touches, including sort of the final design look of the signage element," Hilton said.

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The final element of the renovations at the park will be the installation of a permanent climbing wall above the now-expanded pool. The existing climbing wall is a temporary structure.

"We’ve had our climbing community for two summers now being able to experience a different kind off climbing where, if you fall, you fall into the water. So that is going to be a designated area that’s not quite so crowded as what we had the last two years and that’s very exciting," Hilton said.

"The construction of a permanent wall is not going to take place until spring of 2016. The use of the temporary climbing wall that we put into place for the climbing competitions and the summer climbing, we’re going to use that wall for a third summer and then put in the new wall going into next summer."

The project is the first major improvement at the park since it was built in 1992.

"It really highlights the nature of what we view as how Olympic venues should be used," Hilton said. "It’s not just for elite athletes, it’s for young people learning the sport, it’s for developing-level athletes as well as the elite athletes, and the general public, to come and enjoy the freestyle shows that we do there. So it showcases the multiple different visitors and user groups that come to the park that get to do something with these Olympic venues and that’s what we’re quite proud of."