Chapel Beach Club opened its doors in 1988. This members-only club located in Sea Bright, New Jersey provides beach-side cabanas and a full clubhouse complete with swimming pools, a high-end snack bar and professional staff. However, on October 29, 2012, this bright and breezy club was turned upside down by Hurricane Sandy.
“The club was gone – the entire main structure was just gone,” says Chapel Beach Club owner Sandy Mulheren.
The club originally had two pools on the property – a main lap pool and a smaller kiddy pool. After the storm, the only remaining structure was the sand-filled shell of the main pool. “The pool had lifted out of the ground and was split in two. All the equipment was gone, the pipes were gone and the deck was gone. And the kiddy pool was completely wiped away.” described Brian Bergeski, Vice President of Construction at American Pool in New Jersey.
With the project starting in April, they had very little time to complete both pools before Memorial Day. “It was a challenging timeframe. But we managed to do it in two months,” Bergeski remembered.
Throughout the design process, the owners selected details and design elements – from accent tiles shaped like starfish and shells to a cartoon-like palm tree that gushed water at the center of the kiddy pool.
Both pools were built as green as possible. Green upgrades included energy-efficient motors that use less power than a household hair dryer, salt systems that save the owner thousands of dollars on chemicals each month and LED lighting. “We installed over 20 color-changing LED lights. Those 20 lights use less power than one traditional 500 watt halogen pool light, and the salt systems will pay for themselves within a year,” Bergeski pointed out.
In addition to the green equipment, upgrades to the control system were put into place. A new PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) panel now controls all the water features. Actuated valves allow the owner to turn features on and off with the touch of a button. Mulheren’s cell phone also connects to the system so that he can remotely control the waterworks.
Structurally, the pool needed some modifications. Originally two feet above sea level, the plans called for both pool and deck to be raised an additional 8 feet above sea level. This is when weight became an issue. Beach sand can only hold so much, so with a pool that weighs around 250,000 pounds soaking wet they needed a strong yet lightweight material to hold it in place. Instead of heavy stone, they opted for a lightweight aggregate. “It weighs a third of what stone weighs. Its full name is rotary kiln expanded slate lightweight aggregate. They use this material for highways and bridges – like the Woodrow Wilson Bridge that reaches across the Potomac, ” Bergeski shared.
After all was said and done, Mulheren was very positive about the final product. “I was very pleased and everything has worked well since. We also did a service contract, and the service that they have given us has also been great,” he added “Everyone that was involved in the project was very nice and they put a lot of extra time and effort into getting things finished.”