Rooms feature balconies, barbecue grills and JacuzzisSEASIDE - A series of concrete monoliths have risen in front of what will become the courtyard pools of the Trendwest Resorts project, facing the Pacific Ocean.

Viewing it in this incomplete state, some people have been calling the formation "Sea Henge."

But the pillars are part of the distinctive design of what will become the 283-room resort's check-in building, said Steve Behrens, project manager for Trendwest. Eventually, glass inserts will be added to enclose the area, and the pillars will be topped by cedar beams and trellis work.

The 3-foot deep "kiddie pool" will include interactive fountains that change when children step on them, and the main pool lights will feature clusters of light emitting diodes that will gradually change color, Behrens said. "It's never been done before in a commercial pool - it should be really interesting."

Such features constitute part of the attention to detail in the $55 million project. Construction began last year and remains on schedule for completion in June of 2003, Behrens said.

Interior sheet rock installation is complete through all eight floors. Tile and cabinet finishing work has reached the fifth floor, and carpeting is installed through the third floor.

The prime contractor, Swinerton Builders, has been intensifying work on the five-level parking garage. Currently used for the storage of materials and parking by construction crews, it will include 180 spaces for public parking once the building opens.

Construction crews hope to pour concrete for sidewalks along Avenue A within the next two weeks, a step which should provide more room for traffic flow on Columbia Street, Behrens said. Flag crews continue to direct traffic.

In efforts to help tie in the project visually with the rest of downtown, Trendwest officials worked with Seaside to include 11 of the city's new, Prom-style light fixtures that are being installed along core streets this winter.

Winter has been conjured for residents with a snowflake-like material descending from the resort tower. Used in the exterior wall forming system, it looks like foam but is similar to a soil additive and degrades to powder in sunlight, Behrens said. Workers vacuum the material from the Prom.

A model three-bedroom unit near retail outlets on the ground floor shows how the suites will feature furnishings in beach tones with gas barbecue grills on balconies lined with stainless steel. The rooms range from 600-square-foot studios to 1,580-square-foot penthouse units; some rooms have Jacuzzis.

Of the total, 112 units will be sold as fractional timeshare condominium units. The remaining 171 units will be used by members of WorldMark, a club affiliated with Trendwest that uses a vacation credit system that yields high occupancy rates year-round.

A corporation based in Redmond, Wash., Trendwest offers a network of 49 resorts in the Western United States, British Columbia, Mexico and the South Pacific.

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