Community pools brighten up neighborhoods all summer long. They serve as a gathering place for friends, families, and communities to soak up a little sun and make lasting memories splashing around with their loved ones.
For our project managers and construction crews, however, pool construction is a fun but challenging endeavor. Community pools, water parks, and other aquatic features require a unique set of skills that requires a strong background in heavy civil.
Meet Rob Lichtenberg: Project Manager Specializing in Aquatics
Rob Lichtenberg is the go-to project manager at Branco for everything aquatics. Since 2015, Rob has used his strong background in aquatics and civil engineering to bring fun and complex pool projects to life. In his role as a project manager, Rob is a bit like a conductor. Using his extensive experience coordinates all aspects of the project between the owner, subcontractor, engineer, and architects.
While he works on all sorts of projects at Branco, you can tell Rob is in his element when he gets started on aquatics. He explains, “While I enjoy all aspects of construction, my preference are those projects that tend to be more technical because it’s like putting together a puzzle.”
Aquatic Projects vs. Traditional Buildings
While traditional buildings are undoubtedly challenging, pools tend to be more technical. Since Branco has a unique level of expertise in this field, we commonly self-perform around 70-80% of the project. With traditional buildings, we generally collaborate with subcontractors throughout the project. However, aquatic projects are far more niche, so we tend to keep most of the work in-house or work with only a few trusted subcontractors.
Pools take around the same amount of time as a traditional building but are more susceptible to weather delays. Especially when renovating a community pool, work can only begin when it is closed for the season. Most construction projects continue throughout the winter, with work heading inside the structure during unfavorable winter weather.
Pools, however, are primarily outdoors. With no shelter from the elements, work often has to pause when the weather takes a turn.
Finally, aquatic projects require specialized technical skills. Pools not only need to be water-tight but also feature sometimes complex piping structures that are well-winterized to protect them from damage or bursting during winter months.
Aquatic Achievement by Branco
Over the past 25 years, Branco has made summer memories for communities throughout the region by building or renovating around 50 community pools. While each of these projects presented unique challenges and created an amazing destination for family fun, Rob believes one project, in particular, was the most memorable: Parrot Cove Water Park in Garden City, Kansas.
This project involved renovating an existing building adjacent to a hotel into a 33,000 square foot indoor facility. The building features support columns throughout that needed to be well-integrated into the overall park aesthetic to create a stunning “wow-factor.”
The waterpark was carefully designed to fit within the existing space and was carefully constructed to keep the integrity of the building. The columns throughout the park were designed into natural features, like rockwork structures and faux palm trees, to create a fun and cohesive look.
This complex operation required careful collaboration and coordination with architects, engineers, and designers to create a final park that fit into space naturally. The result is a work we’re proud of—it’s simply stunning (and fun!).
With nearly a quarter of a century in aquatics, Branco is proud to be an industry leader in pool construction. Thanks to the efforts of skilled and dedicated project managers like Rob, and our knowledgeable workers, we can continue to be a leader in aquatic construction throughout the region.