PDA

View Full Version : Building the best pool facility possible...



Dennis Tesch
November 28th, 2006, 10:18 PM
I'm currently in the process of putting together a committee to start planning for a new aquatic facility in our area. I'm asking all of you to help me make a list of the things that should go into a facility if you had unlimited resources and space. I want to start my project with the biggest dream possible and then have it brought back to earth by money limitations, etc.

What I'm looking for are comments about our own facilities features that work well, that you would never do again, that you would change, that you would do differently, and what you wish you could have. I want to hear from experience.... What makes your facility work so well or why you pool is the arm pit of pools. Here is an example:

I've learned from one pool that they should have built a permanent wall between their lap pool and their zero depth entry rec. pool. The building is so noisy they can barely run a meet if people are in the recreation pool. Don't leave anything untouched (pool size, deck space, configuration, locker rooms, office space, outdoor facilities, observation seating, etc.)

Our initial plan is to build a 50 meter indoor, with adjacent recreation pool, and an outdoor splash area for the hot summers. We are one mile above sea level and our winters go from October to May. I'm hoping all you can help with the things you have all learned from the many years we have been swimming.

laineybug
November 28th, 2006, 11:42 PM
make it deep. Our pool is 25 meters, 15 feet deep at the deepest, and it gets deep quickly. The scuba diving class generates a lot of money for the pool and can go on even when other classes are using the pool. It is rather weird though to see 6 or 7 folks sitting on the bottom of the pool while you swim above.

besides the kids pool, have a seperate, shallow, 'therapy pool' for the water aerobic classes that can be kept as warm as they want and out of way of master swimmers who think they own the pool.

DanSad
November 29th, 2006, 08:44 AM
There was a thread awhile back about pools not being the correct length and as a result no swims in those pools could be counted as records. Make sure the length of the pool is within the allowable tolerance.

swimr4life
November 29th, 2006, 09:09 AM
make it deep.
besides the kids pool, have a seperate, shallow, 'therapy pool' for the water aerobic classes that can be kept as warm as they want and out of way of master swimmers who think they own the pool.


This is probably THE MOST IMPORTANT thing you can do!!! Have a seperate warm pool for lessons, "noodlers", hydrotherapy and hydroaerobics. This way you can keep the competition/training pool cool for swimmers. They can rent the pool to high school teams during the season for their practices and meets for a very good income. You can rent the warm pool to therapists/rehab specialists too.

Lainey bug, around here we have the opposite problem.....the hydroaerobic people own our pool and keep it WAY too hot. In the meantime, we have high schoolers practicing/competing in 85 degree water and passing out! :(

The Fortress
November 29th, 2006, 09:50 AM
This is probably THE MOST IMPORTANT thing you can do!!! Have a seperate warm pool for lessons, "noodlers", hydrotherapy and hydroaerobics. This way you can keep the competition/training pool cool for swimmers.

We have a separate pool and it works wonderfully. The competition pool is quite chilly.

I also suggest:

(1) a large hottub, which is great after practicing in a chilly pool;

(2) not having the locker rooms located at the end of the plumbing line or you will be stuck with cold/lukewarm showers after practice (this is our fate);

(3) having suit spinners in the locker rooms;

(4) having more bathrooms in the ladies locker room (The USS kids are always changing in them when the adults need to use them. The men, at least from what I've heard, are peeing in the pool. Seriously, my facility is doing some reconstruction and the college coach made this exact request.);

(5) consider bromine instead of chlorine;

(6) make the pool deep, obviously, with wide gutters;

(7) put in vending machines so you can grab waters/gatorade etc. when you forget them;

(8) we have a VASA machine stationed in our pool, which some of our swimmers like to use;

(9) do not install a permanent lifeguard chair next to where a starter/referee would stand during swim meets;

(10) install multiple built-in pace clocks, so that when you put in a bulk head for SCY or SCM, they are at both ends of each pool. make sure they are synchronized.

(11) this isn't related to construction, but do not rent the pool out 24/7 on weekends or you will have grumpy masters swimmers who miss their sat. & sun. practices.

(12) make sure the back stroke flags are correctly placed. I've been to quite a few pools where they are not.

(13) I find there is never enough seating at any USS meet I attend. So, if possible, get as much spectator seating as you can.

Good luck with the project!

LindsayNB
November 29th, 2006, 10:01 AM
(4) having more bathrooms in the ladies locker room (The USS kids are always changing in them when the adults need to use them. The men, at least from what I've heard, are peeing in the pool. Seriously, my facility is doing some reconstruction and the college coach made this exact request.);

And then when they tell you that you have to reduce costs you can replace them with simple cheap changing stalls. ;)

poolraat
November 29th, 2006, 10:06 AM
Fortress,
These are some great ideas. Do you mind if I use them in an addendum to a report I did for our city council 2 years ago while a member of the city's recreation advisory board. They are resurrecting the idea of a new recreation facility.

aquageek
November 29th, 2006, 10:10 AM
Lainey bug, around here we have the opposite problem.....the hydroaerobic people own our pool and keep it WAY too hot. In the meantime, we have high schoolers practicing/competing in 85 degree water and passing out! :(

This fallacy that you need to keep the rec pool at 85 degrees is out of control. Temps between 80-83 are suitable and it is possible to actually swim at that temp. If you actually work in the water, it does not need to be 85 or over. It is purely for comfort that it is kept at this temp. I have yet to go to a pool in the US that is multi-purpose that is kept at a temp suitable for swimming.

I agree that you must have two pools as everyone else has mentioned. If you are stuck with a single pool, keep it at 76-78 and drive the noodlers out so that swimmers can use it! Swim teams pay to use a pool, noodlers don't.

If you have a one of those water park things you can generate a lot of dough by having kiddie birthday parties.

THIS IS A MUST - if you have two pools, make sure they are on separate filtration systems. There is nothing worse than having some kid have a blow out in the noodling pool and being forced out of the separate swim pool.

I would also suggest a lightning detection system, if that's an issue in your area. These are great for limiting closures except in the case of a storm close by. Make sure to ground everything also.

The Fortress
November 29th, 2006, 10:12 AM
Fortress,
These are some great ideas. Do you mind if I use them in an addendum to a report I did for our city council 2 years ago while a member of the city's recreation advisory board. They are resurrecting the idea of a new recreation facility.

Sure. I think an new facility would be good for you. You could quit that hotel pool and not freeze in your other pool! ;)

knelson
November 29th, 2006, 10:24 AM
Make sure the locker rooms are adequate. I've been to so many "world class" facilities with locker rooms that are terrible. They are usually small, have no lockers for public use and have too few showers and toilets.

swimr4life
November 29th, 2006, 10:29 AM
Make sure you have enough seating to hold USS/HS swim meets. We have a beautiful pool for hs meets but, it is sooo crowded that a lot of people end up standing the whole time. There is definitely not enough seating for a USS meet! That would be #2 priority on my list after the #1 - seperate warm/cool pools!

LindsayNB
November 29th, 2006, 10:32 AM
Swim teams pay to use a pool, noodlers don't.

I don't have any personal knowledge on this issue but I was under the impression the swim teams generally pay much lower fees per hour of pool utilization than other activities. Is this generally true or not? I know that for a gym, members that work out twice a day are not as profitable as people who pay the same membership fee and only work out a couple times a week.

NotVeryFast
November 29th, 2006, 11:11 AM
You could do a lot worse than copy some aspects of Ponds Forge in Sheffield, which is where our SC Masters Nationals are held each year, and is where the 1996 World Masters was held:
http://www.spinsheffield.com/tours/Ponds_Forge/2

Some reasons why it is good:
- Diving pit is the same width as the main pool, i.e. 25m, and is used for permanent warm up and swim down during meets.
- The 50m x 25m main pool has a boom that moves along the poolside rather than being raised up and down, so the pool can be split into 2 x 25m x 25m pools. Many 50m pools only split into a 25m and 23m pool. This allows the mens races to take place in one pool and the womens in the other for our SC nationals.

What can be improved:
- Inadequate poolside seating (as opposed to spectator seating). This problem afflicts most pools in the UK, it's often a battle at Masters meets to find somewhere to sit.
- Scoreboard is good but can be hard to read from the far end of the pool.
- Car parking is a bit inadequate.
- Never enough lockers, toilets, showers
- Ideally would have 2 x 50m pools so that clubs can carry on training while competitions are taking place.

aquageek
November 29th, 2006, 11:13 AM
Good point, Lindsay. Most facilities I've belonged to require a monthly membership fee plus a separate fee for the swim team. I have yet to see a water aerobic class that is fee based, at our local pools anyway.

One of my kid's teams pays $2400/mo for pool usage. I'm not complaining about this, it is a great pool and great coaching but it ain't cheap. Our Master's team pays around $250/mo for our pool time on top of the $90 each of us pay to use the Y monthly. But, our coach is worth every penny, along with our teammates.

I do think, and you won't believe this, that water aerobes probably shouldn't be charged. The folks that do this are generally older and may have mobility restrictions. Therefore, this might be their only substantive exercise. I certainly would not be fair to exclude folks who need this, although the Y will never turn someone away for lack of money.

Amber23
November 29th, 2006, 11:29 AM
besides the kids pool, have a seperate, shallow, 'therapy pool' for the water aerobic classes that can be kept as warm as they want and out of way of master swimmers who think they own the pool.

no joke! The pool I swim in is way to hot most of the time. They have finally turned it down to about 84 but its usually around 87! I can't stand it, its impossible to do a really hard workout. But because all the water aerobic people complain, they keep it that warm.

A seperate pool would be great. I got hit in the head with a beach vollyball from the water aerobics people two days ago. This was after it had already come into my lane 3 times! So I stopped and hit that sucker all the way across the pool and then started swimming again, lol. They stopped playing but I could feel their evil stares. I had no choice but to swim by them, the other lanes were full.

chickadee
November 29th, 2006, 11:29 AM
okay you said fantasy
Maybe make the setting area retractable so that when all of it is not needed you can use the space to stretch. There is no place to really stretch out before or after at our pool other than standing on the slimey tile floor. Yech.

Cover the outdoor pool with a retractable roofing system so that in the winter it could still be functional.

Floors in the locker room that are graded to drain esp in the shower area, so that puddles dont stand.

Adequate air flow, fans or something so that the chemicals and the perfumes/after shave fumes dont linger on the top of the pool. Really important to cut down on respiratory illnesses.

An decent sound system, so that you can understand the annoucer other than a muffled ":lane blah: :blah: lane :blah: :blah: "


Pay attn to locker room access, at an area facility in order to access the ladies locker room from the pool area you have to walk literally through the gang showers, was a little unnerving last year to be showeringafter the meet and have other women walking through dressed, :shakeshead:

knelson
November 29th, 2006, 11:47 AM
- The 50m x 25m main pool has a boom that moves along the poolside rather than being raised up and down, so the pool can be split into 2 x 25m x 25m pools. Many 50m pools only split into a 25m and 23m pool.

This is a good point. Ideally a 50 m pool should be 50 meters long, plus whatever extra is needed to have two bulkheads. That way you put the bulkheads at each end for a 50 meter course, or you put them in the middle for 2x25 m courses. Move them in slightly and you've got two 25 yard courses. The pool should be 25 meters wide. That gives you the ultimate in terms of flexibility of courses.

BillS
November 29th, 2006, 12:34 PM
Our therapy pool is kept at 87 - 89, and is close enough to the main pool that the aquarobes can hear the instructor and do the workout from the therapy pool. It gives the class members the option to choose their temperature, and cuts down on the complaints about the 82 degree main pool. It's about 3 1/2 - 4 feet deep, comparable to the shallow end of the main pool -- which is too shallow for a dedicated competition pool. But a deeper pool would limit the aquarobes to the therapy pool, and some of those folks who are able to work hard would then overheat. There are always tradeoffs, unless you have the budget to build multiple pools, each dedicated to a specific purpose.

I had an opportunity to swim at the Federal Way facility for NW Zones a couple of weeks ago. Very, very nice pool facility, designed pretty much as Kirk suggests. The main tank was nice and cool, and the dive pool was substantially warmer and used as the cool down pool.

Mildly amusing aside: At Zones, I jumped into the dive well to cool down after a race, and just let myself drift down thinking about the race. My usual pool's deep end is about 8 feet, and I guess I usually just bounce off the bottom and up. Federal Way's dive tank is 16 feet deep, and I just headed down. I ended up down about 12 feet before I realized I hadn't hit bottom, was down a ways, and really had no breath. Had to claw my way to the surface gasping for air. It would have been more than a little humiliating to have to be rescued from the cool down pool!

Warren
November 29th, 2006, 12:38 PM
1) Make it 50 meter by 25 yards.
2) Make the diving well separate from the pool
3) seating on both sides of the pool
4) make it like this
_________________
50 M Pool----l25 Y l--- diving well
____________lpool_l---

Have it all connected with walls in between.
have the 25 yard pool go across.

Put the big clock on the wall above the starting area

Alex
November 29th, 2006, 02:01 PM
1) Make it 50 meter by 25 yards.
2) Make the diving well separate from the pool
3) seating on both sides of the pool
4) make it like this
_________________
50 M Pool----l25 Y l--- diving well
____________lpool_l---

Have it all connected with walls in between.
have the 25 yard pool go across.

Put the big clock on the wall above the starting area

Besides spectators , there is also a need for space to place provitional seating for tree to four swimer hits waiting to compete.:bow:

nkfrench
November 29th, 2006, 02:10 PM
USA Swimming devotes manpower and resources towards assisting USA Swimming programs and others in developing new facilities based on best practices. They hold a "Build a Pool" Conference each April. I highly suggest that you have somebody work with USAS, attend the conference and take advantage of this. They will have statistics to back up anecdotal evidence you'll get from us.

The new competition pools in our area ? They boast how great they are but make these mistakes:

#1 - not enough deck space to hold enough swimmers during a championships or large invitational

#2 - not enough spectator seating for large age group championships where Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, and 3 siblings will be watching

#3 - Bulkhead isn't big enough to mount starting blocks AND have needed timers etc. Or it won't allow the standard touchpads to be mounted

#4 - Control room (where timing equip goes) does not have a clear view of the start/finish

#5 - Depth is not the same in each lane (unfair advantage) of the competition course

#6 - Insufficient lockerrooms/bathrooms for a large meet. Lockers need to be big enough to hold a modern duffel or swim backpack and winter coats.

#7 - Not enough parking and no convenient access to freeways, swimmer-friendly motels/restaurants.



If I had to make a wishlist for our existing facility, I would wish:
* More storage and offices area so our team could have an office and store things away from the chlorinated pool air (swim store, meet hospitality supplies) as well as more deck storage
* Bigger weight room / drylands areas
* Better bulkhead that was easier to mount touchpads on
* Shallow end deep enough for racing starts
* Separate lessons pool with shallower end and warmer water
* Bigger lockerroom with better ventilation and easier to clean
* Better hospitality area adjacent to the pool deck and with easier access to outside with a sink
* More seating in the spectator area
* Less slippery deck and stairs
* Separate warmdown lanes for LC meets
* INTERNET ACCESS
* Larger meet computer ops area to allow room for a few trainees
* Someplace to post meet results neatly for spectators

LindsayNB
November 29th, 2006, 02:25 PM
Our pool has a movable floor that can be set anywhere from a few inches deep to several feet deep. This allows one end of the pool to be used for little kids, or water aerobics or fast competition. It is always being moved up and down for one use or another. I think it greatly helps achieve maximum utilization of the pool. I don't know how much it adds to the cost.

Warning: the movable floor in our pool is a solid surface, at a nearby pool they have a movable floor but the surface is a grid of holes. They don't move the floor much anymore because all sorts of dirt and stuff falls through the holes and accumulates under the floor, then when the move the floor this stuff gets flushed out and floats around for a while which apparently is pretty gross.

anita
November 29th, 2006, 02:54 PM
Two additions that I have seen at my Y that I like:

1) There are 3 pace clocks around the pool so no matter where I am in the pool I can see one.
2) There are outside "wet" bathrooms next to the pool so there's no racing into the locker room taking 1/2 the pool water with me.

Dennis Tesch
November 29th, 2006, 03:32 PM
Hey thanks everyone for giving me some great ideas to follow and to stay away from. Please keep them coming..... No idea is a bad idea.... it may work for our facility or someone elses....:applaud:

Susan
November 29th, 2006, 05:09 PM
I'd recommend chlorine instead of bromine. It's cheaper and does a better job. A large enough percentage of people are allergic to bromine to make it a poor choice. The advantage of bromine is mostly that it doesn't break down as quickly in hot water, so it's probably good for hot tubs. You might check with pools that gave up bromine and find out why before making a choice.

The Fortress
November 29th, 2006, 05:17 PM
I'd recommend chlorine instead of bromine. It's cheaper and does a better job. A large enough percentage of people are allergic to bromine to make it a poor choice.

Yikes. Is this true? I thought chlorine and bromine were irritants, not allergens. I also thought bromine was supposed to be less irritating than chlorine... I think bromine is used in our pool and it's pretty frigid ...

lapswimmr
November 29th, 2006, 09:54 PM
I second the chlorine instead of bromine, I get itchy in bromine.

A dream pool would be a fitness center that would bring in more users then just swimmers to offset costs..

50 meter pool x 25 yards 14 feet at deep end tapering to 4 feet (water areobics = early morning customers and money)at shallow with handicap ramp to walk in and out of pool in shallow area and.. a set of steps down to about 4 feet deep not just a climb up ladder to allow easy access in and out of deep end for handicap swimmers to easily get out of deep end for deep water aerobics. 8 Lap lanes 6 feet wide about 5 -6 feet deep in middle area toward the deep end (racing zone) all lanes in race zone same depth. 1st 50 feet pool is 14 feet to 12 feet deep 2nd 50 feet pool is 6 or 5 feet deep 3rd 50 ft pool tapers from 5 foot to 4 foot deep. A seperate baby pool for their fun and lessons 50ft by 50 ft. 2.5 feet deep for kids with a wide ramp "beach" tapering up to zero feet. A 3 meter board and two 1 meter boards at the deep end of the big pool. Cement bench style (tiled $$ or epoxy painted cement) seating around both pools gives places to sit and put swim gear, Bleacher area in big pool for meets, Lifeguard room in center of pool with room for meet officials and their computers Bay windows in both rooms looking out to pool. Hot tub in pool area near baby area. Windows to see outside around pool. a mirror on the wall in the pool area to check goggles/caps fitting. A fitness room with exercise machines ,weights, a dance room wood floor mirrors and a bar (ballet not a drinking bar), a couple of raquettball courts, a all purpose meeting room that can be rented for birthday parties confrences ect a small sales area at check in with some swim suits, goggles, nose plugs, racquatballs, swimcaps (my Watergear bubble strap cap size medium white color please). A secure locker area in the main check in area with small secure pay lockers for purses, wallets. A little food area with a good cup of coffee and some cheap food favorites hot dogs, hamburgers, fries, frozen pizza ,ice cream,(yea you got to have them for familys with kids) some healthy salads and sandwhiches,soft drinks. Great big hot water heater, several AED defib devices about the place. Locker rooms with baby change areas, plenty of room in locker room, and finally a main room where everyone meets up this can be after the check in with exercise rooms , food kitchen attached looking into the pool areas raquett ball courts
or exercise area.. this was fun ! Many of these items I have seen in pools as i have traveled around the country.

sdswimmer
November 29th, 2006, 11:18 PM
The main problems I've seen in 2 brand new facilities are in the locker rooms. First the locker rooms should have a "wet access" to the pool. These two brand new facilities requrie you to go out into main hallways, one over carpetting the other over slippery marble on your way in and out.
The other thing is the surfaes of the locker rooms/bathrooms, please make them non slip and easy draining. Nothing like standing on beautiful polished marble ankle deep in dirty water worse a number of folks have slipped on these floors (one a mom helping her daughter out of her wheelchair).

Warren
November 29th, 2006, 11:26 PM
You should go all out even if that means spending more money, you only get to build this pool once.

hofffam
November 30th, 2006, 02:23 PM
You said "unlimited funds" but I'd suggest you not present an ultimate pool for consideration if you are dealing with public funds. This is just a practical issue. It usually creates a negative impression if you go for luxury when taxpayers are involved.

I would emphasize elements that increase the versatility of the pool and create financial opportunities. Indoor competition pools are expensive. I believe Northside Independent School District in San Antonio spent $12M for their new indoor 50M pool (I have not seen it). The Josh Davis Natatorium in San Antonio is a competition quality SCY pool with generous elevated seating and cost about $5M. The Nitro swim team in Austin is just completing their indoor 50M pool (private funding).

Seating and parking is important because without it you can't attract large swim meets. Concrete seating is great but aluminum bleachers are adequate. Locker room space, capacity, and layout is probably more important than lockers. Deck space eases hosting of events. High school meets often have awards and need deck space for the 1-2-3 podiums. Consider locations for signage too - sponsors, pool records, etc.

If your pool will host an active diving program reserve space for a trampoline. Without diving boards (at least 1 and 3 meter) you probably can't host high school competition (well - Texas ties them together for high school).

If your pool will market to triathletes you might consider any other unique ways to appeal to triathletes and their bicycles.

And don't forget a good PA system.

nkfrench
November 30th, 2006, 05:44 PM
More ideal things:

* Lots of light without glare. Our pool has lights that can only be accessed by a narrow catwalk 10m above shallow water and it's a huge deal to clean out the dead bugs and change bulbs. The swimmers need to be able to see the bottom clearly for turns, officials need good lighting to see turns, and media need good light for cameras (TV has especially difficult requirements for lots of foot-candles). Also use light colors on walls etc so the effect is bright and clean, not dank and dreary.

* Excellent ventilation system to conserve energy and chemical costs and yet have good temps/good air including at the water surface. Other design issues should also keep in mind how much it will cost to operate / utilities. We have problems running indoor summer meets because our computer can overheat and humidity makes the paper jam in the printers, not to mention that the parents, coaches and officials are miserable. On the flip side the swimmers need to have draft free comfortable air during meets or they won't swim well. Seems like every area has a pool where everyone complains that the air makes them cough for a few days.

* Separate warmer water shallow / small pool for instruction and water exercises ? Separate diving well can duplicate for warmup/warmdown

* Spectator area should be able to view both ends of the pool esp if running two competition courses.

Anthony Thompson
December 1st, 2006, 02:27 PM
What a great list of suggestions ? I wish we were building a pool too !

Reading this discussion I see two recurring themes:

1. Know your customer-base with your community, region, state and within national organizations and highlight what you are building to address these customer needs and know the revenue that each of these generate:
a. competitive swimming program (78-80 F water)
i. USA Swimming - rentals & usages
ii high school championships
iii USMS and our nationals*
*You might asked our USMS Championship committee on the standards used to evaluate pools toward hosting our nationals, and be sure to exceed them !
b. recreational swimmers (80-83 F water) including lap swimmers, some triathletes and other miscellaneous groups like daycare kid, home school programs, etc.
c. water aerobic/exercise ( 81-84 F water)
d. hydrotherapy (need 87+ F water)

2. Spending a little more money up front will create a lot of opportunities if your facility can meet these customer needs, as you will attract more usagage. Lots of details like lockerroom, access, deck space, adjoining room, built-in pace clocks, scoreboards, spectator seating, equipment room for computer system, designs for touch pads on bulkhead, desired width and depth of pool, diving equipment, etc...

Best of luck sythnesizing these ideas into a master plan (which may get cut down into your budget eventually).

Dolphin 2
December 1st, 2006, 03:19 PM
Being an “Aquaphile”, I’ve always been interested in the design of luxury bathrooms, swimming facilities, and the issues associated with water quality.

On the subject of what features should be incorporated into a new pool, I know of a simple device that can make a really great contribution to keeping recreational water clean.

The “Bidet” is a “personal hygienic appliance” that mounts in place of a toilet seat and it works like a miniature shower that focuses an aerated stream of mild soap and warm water at your bottom area:

Http://www.washlet.com/default.asp

I installed one in my bathroom and I use it prior to getting in my hot tub. Because of the very thorough washing action of the bidet, I can use much less chemicals in the tub and still keep the water in sparkling clean condition.

A bidet can be economically incorporated into the restroom facilities of both new and existing pools.

Happy Swimming :p

Dolphin 2

osterber
December 1st, 2006, 05:09 PM
Oh, where to begin. One thing to do is to first separate out all of the different use cases for the pool, and then make lists of important items for each of those different use cases. Some use cases:

* General recreational swimming
* Swim lessons
* Club (USS/Masters/etc.) training/workout
* College training/workout
* Diving club training/workout
* Water polo training/workout
* Synchronized swimming training/workout
* "Normal" in-season competition, for swimming, water polo, diving, synchro
* "Championship" competition, for swimming, water polo, diving, synchro

Each of those use cases puts different pulls on your facility. Some things off the top of my head:

* Spectator seating. I would advocate making the spectator area quite separate from the pool deck, with a few access points from the pool deck, which are easily regulated (with a door or a person, etc.).

* Concessions. Build a space with a concession stand in mind. This includes requirements for refrigeration, secure storage (so people don't steal candybars between sessions), and lots of electrical (to power a pizza oven, microwave, hot dog steamer, and coffee pot).

* Lots of lighting that can be varried. I.e., you'll want more light during competition, but during other times, less light.

* A good, high fidelity, sound system. It needs to work well for both voice and music. You should have appropriate mic inputs in more places than you ever think you'll need them. And include line-level inputs in appropriate places (such as a timing control area), where you can directly connect a sound source, or a mixer, etc.

* Lots of electricity. Obviously on appropriate ground fault circuits. But lots of different circuits so you can spread the trip risk around and not lose everything.

* Think of running a big meet - you'll need some space that is accessible from the deck for meet operations, timers meetings, officials meetings, etc. Meet operations stuff should be enclosed and air conditioned, but with high visibility to the pool deck. This should have lots of power.

* Cable pulls. Wherever you're running cables, run big fat conduits, bigger than you'll ever need, with cable pulls in them, so you can pull more cable later.

* Network/internet. These days, more and more are running networked versions of meet manager, and posting results online immediately, etc. Need internet and network connectivity everywhere.

* Storage. It's impossible to have too much storage at a pool. Consider making some or all of your storage climate-controlled, especially humidity-controlled. I.e., if you'll have lots of touchpads and other electronic equipment, you'll want to store them in a dry location, which is hard to find in a pool. Allocate tons of compartmentalized space, so that everything can have a home, and different things can be locked up by different people.

* However much deck space you have, it is never enough. Make more deck space. And buy portable seating platforms for teams to sit on for those big meets.

* When running a meet, big or small, you need a place to post results, heat sheets, etc. Tile walls work well for this. Painted walls don't. Anywhere you have wall space, make it tiled so it can be taped on, and not a painted surface or other 'fragile' surface.

* Your locker rooms aren't big enough. Still not.

* Design the building so there is a way straight onto the pool deck without going through the locker rooms. This pathway should be controllable, either with a locked door, or a person, etc.

* Pace clocks. Invest in some digital ones that are all synchronized. (We use wireless DAktronics pace clocks.) Put them at every corner of the pool, facing both directions for super high visibility.

* Hospitality. Where would you put a hospitality area for coaches at a big meet?

Those are just some thoughts off the top of my head.

-Rick

ande
December 1st, 2006, 05:52 PM
visit the UT swim center and other great pools around the country

put it in a spacious building
have overflow gutters
make it 60 meters by 25 meters
deep is good
spacious locker rooms

lapswimmr
December 2nd, 2006, 11:19 AM
One more thing to consider, lay out the grandest plan you can come up with and select a site if possible that that plan can be built on. Then scale the plan back to your budget and build the facility so that in the future the things you did not have the money for can be easily added on, a modular concept.

Do you really need a 50 meter pool? Will you be running that many meets to really need that lenght and everyday expense (additional life guards/chemicals/water/light/electric)
Does your area already have fitness centers with raquattball courts, dance room ect. These extras are a lot cheaper to build then a extra 25 meters of pool .If this is a public or community pool you may serve needs better with a 25 yd by 25 meter pool and a couple of raquattball courts and a exercise machine treadmills ect area. Any pool can be added on to later at the shallow end if its planned that way.

Dont forget the kitchen food area even if its a mini kitchen ,big locker rooms,pool windows lots of hot water and make it a bright well lighted pool. dimmly lit pools give the place a dank look.

And for a grand pool I agree with Ande about the 60 meters lenght. That way you can have one of those moveable dividers set up for meets at 50 meters from the deep side so the shallow end 30 plus feet away can be 3.5 feet and the start can be 4.5 or maybe 5 feet deep. When the meets over the divider moves to the deep end/shallow end area.

craiglll@yahoo.com
December 3rd, 2006, 01:40 PM
Poor planning is better than no planning at all when it comes to pools.
I live in Champaign/Urbana Illinois. Our swimming situation is a real mess. The only indoor pool in Urbana, a city of about 37,000 has been down since late summer. the high school guys team is swimming at a pool in an appartment complex owned by the univberisty. The Univeristy of Illinois is here. No men's swim team. Its large fitness center is going through a huge remodelling. But if you aren't affliated with the univeristy, it is extremely expensive to swim ther. Champaign, about 65,000, has no indoor public pool. There are pools that are used for the high schools. The Y is a shame. there is mold growiing inthe men's ocker room. to swim there is to be punished.

Now some people want to build a 50 meter indoor pool. It will take every dime avaiable to build it. Everyone thinks that the university should get involved. I know that from a grad class I took on rec management, the idea of getting many organizaitons & governmental bodies together is great if it works. But when it doesn't work (as is the case inUrbana), it is ure diasater.

I also think that if public money is going to go to build the pool, then the pool is mandated to be available to all. Even those who can't afford ot pay for using it!

Muppet
December 3rd, 2006, 11:38 PM
My frame of reference is the great facility I am fortunate enough to swim at regularly at the University of Maryland, College Park (see http://www.terrapinmasters.org/crc.jpg for a nice picture of the competition pool).

Pool-wise, we have 2 indoor pools: a 52 meter by 25 yard competition pool (2 moveable bulkheads, 8 to 15 feet deep, 1 & 3 meter springboards at the deep end) and a 25 meter by 25 yard rec pool (~4 feet deep). Outdoor is a 25m x 25 y L shaped pool, and separate Mushroom pool - which is awesome, by the way.

back inside...

Deck space is plentiful. One thing about this is that the deck is wide enough that should any meet ever run the 25 yard width of the pool, folks camped out on the sides of the pool can get far enough away from all the splashing. There are a pair of wet/dry classrooms on deck for hospitality, officials during meets; and lifeguard class, swim classroom instruction, etc. during the week.

Natural Lighting... The link above shows the HUGE windows. They face northward, so not much direct sunlight, but there is plenty of daylight coming in. Even though we're indoors, at least we get to see what is going on outside (they also provide a good view of the bad weather, aka the Sept. 2001 Tornado that ran through the forest behind the pool).

Air/Temps. The locker rooms can get a bit nipply at times, but the pool deck is never humid. Always bearable in short or long sleeve t's. Comp pool temp is good for swimmers, the rec pool is good for the folks who like to swim in shower water temps. And aside from deck cleanings, I never smell any chemicals in there.

In general, have in mind what kind of programs and events you are looking too have at your facility. UMD does not have diving platforms and a tower, and its probably one of the main reasons why Baltimore/DC couldn't get serious with the 2012 Olympic Bid. If you're going to have a lot of learn to swim, scuba, aerobics, etc classes, make sure there is plenty of storage space for their equipment, along with all the lane ropes, touch pads, blocks, etc. that you use for competitive swimming.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!:banana:

Dennis Tesch
December 4th, 2006, 02:43 PM
Thanks everyone for all your help. I'm compiling and making list for our next meeting. I'll keep all of you posted as to how the meetings are going and what our facility will be like....