Mt. Olympus Slidewheel & Waterpark Addition
Medusa’s Slidewheel, the first rotating water slide in the western hemisphere, was part of a 22,500 square foot Commercial Indoor Water Park Expansion at Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. It combines the movement of a Ferris wheel and the speed of a waterslide. Holtz Builders, Inc. was honored to assist Mt. Olympus in providing an experience that millions of guests will enjoy for years to come.
Type of Construction: New Construction
Size of Project: 22,500 square feet
Duration of Project: 10 Months
The Medusa slidewheel stands over 74 feet high and spans nearly 100 feet in width. This project entails 443 feet of water slides wrapped in an intricate tangle of tubes on a horizontal axis that allows the entire ride to rotate continuously, 360 degrees. There are artfully placed Aqua Lucent lights -providing flashes of colorful bursts of light that illuminates the enclosed flumes. Located at the operator ‘s tower, the state of the art video security camera system offers riders an ultimate level of comfort — recording riders at all times and takes photos of the riders for purchase. The slidewheel is the first of its kind to be built in America. Talk about a unique project!
Standing at 38 feet tall, HBI erected the slide entry tower prior to drywall which made it more difficult to work around and access different areas. Even though the steel came pre-painted, due to the corrosive environment, the steel assembly package required welding, grinding, and a lot of touch-ups. Standard paint would not hold up to the elements, so we applied a two-part epoxy paint. The slide entry itself was difficult to finish because of the moisture in the area and the joint being in a precarious place. After several meetings with Ramaker and WhiteWater, we were able to get it where it needed to be. Second, the roof of the interior first aid station was supposed to be a standing seam, but with the chlorine environment, Mt. Olympus representatives were concerned that it would not be sustainable. Prairie Exteriors recommended a fiberglass reinforced polymer panel (FRP) roof that is resistant to chemicals and other corrosive conditions. Third, we replaced the standard aluminum ductwork with a new, innovative Canvas Duct: DuctSox to increase longevity, decrease maintenance, improve airflow efficiency, and are aesthetically pleasing. The custom airflow pattern reduces condensation on the glass, decreases chloramines at the water surface for swimmers, and prevents corrosive moisture on critical building components — all necessary to the longevity of this incredible waterslide.
At the beginning of the project, there was a lot of push back to get everyone on the same page. So, we implemented a 6-week look ahead schedule, held daily, to coordinate all trade’s activities for the day in a safe manner. We also established weekly progress meetings and scheduled weekly project meetings that allowed us to stay three steps ahead of problems and build efficiently. Our project superintendent set high expectations for all contractors and held them accountable. On average, there were 60 individuals on site performing work. There was a lot of coordination regarding deliveries, staging plan, and active work. At one point, we had nine lifts in the interior portion of the building, along with two cranes and six lifts on the exterior of the building. Mt. Olympus also contracted other subcontractors and requested that we manage and coordinate the site. The daily huddle meetings were important to establish buy-in, encourage teamwork, maintain safety, ensure that details of every section were per spec and per plan, and adhere to the schedule.
Holtz Builders knows that planning is the key to a successful project. Near the last six weeks of the duration of the project, our site superintendent held a poll schedule. This meeting took 2.5 hours to create. All contractors participated as we adjusted and re-adjusted the 6 week schedule to meet our turnover date of May 27, 2022. This was a team-oriented approach. Everyone had a voice in the matter and took ownership to meet the deadline.