They held golden shovels and ceremoniously scooped the first bits of dirt for the project, known as the Yukon Kuskokwim Regional Aquatic Health and Safety Center.
The center will feature two swimming pools, a hot tub, a fitness room and a weight room. The large swimming pool will include six swimming lanes and a water slide. The smaller pool will be shallower for little kids.
Nearly 200 pilings were installed this winter. Other building supplies will arrive on the summer barges. The construction plan is to complete the outside of the building this summer and work on the inside over the next winter.
The center is expected to open by the end of October 2014.
The building will be partly run off of power from a wind turbine to be installed nearby.