FA L L 2 0 0 8 A P U B L I C AT I O N O F WAT E R T E C H N O L O G Y, I N C .


Specializing in Fun for 25 Years


Aquatics in Motion

Celebrating 25 Years of Fun! Announcing the Opening of the Texas Office of Water Technology, Inc. Water Technology, Inc. Expands with Creativity in Mind Calling All Consultants 25 Years of Fun! You’ve Come a Long Way Baby… Featured Facility: Aberdeen Aquatic Center Project Highlights How People Play Audit Trail Aquatic Evaluations Striving for Safety, Reliability and Fun in Waterparks

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Project Highlights Everything Is Bigger in (Grapevine) Texas Resort Hotels as Family Entertainment Setting Records in Competitive Pool Design Project Highlights Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Centers Wellness and Healing with Water Project Highlights YMCA Pride Controlling the Energy Monster Lurking in the Natatorium Project Highlights Why Hire an Aquatic Designer?

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Aquatics in Motion

Aquatics in Motion



25 Years of FUN!

Charles M. Neuman President

From left to right, back row: Tim Gremmer, Erv Loest, Adam Pfister, Mat Strack, Richard Speake, Brad Saucerman, Ryan Smedema, Jamie Umland, Larry VandeZande, Dale DeClue, Derek Schmidt; Third row: Cathy Armbruster, Jessica VanHerwaarden, Scott LeMonds, Kara Polchinski, Dan Lamers, Bill Bornick, Brian Freber, Mike Kaul, Eric Silvis, Andrea Jackson; Second row: Tracey Posthuma, Nate Soto, Jill Nampel, Terri Trimmer, Brad Mallon, Camille Pearson, Noah Pearson, Tom Pomerville, Glenn Fick, Scott Stefanc; Front row: Nick Neuman, Jen Lease, Karen Janisewski, Sandy Beattie, Susan Klug, Melinda Kempfer, Dustin Hull, Dean Mueller; Not pictured: Doug Whiteaker, Alice Buderer, Anne Slawny, Carla Loeffler, Claude Rogers, Haley Panton, Mary Aranda, Peter Neuman, Matt Freeby, Sarah Janisewski

ater Technology, Inc. is a premier aquatic design firm founded on the belief that aquatic recreation completes communities and makes them a better place to live. Our creative energy and passion embrace that philosophy with the creation of forward-looking designs that support dynamic community programs. Our solution-driven planning and design philosophy emphasizes that the most successful and effective plans result from active participation. We believe it is important to work as a team throughout the process to address important issues and identify assets to be enhanced and challenges to overcome. Our planners engage key interest groups using various unique and highly interactive techniques. We foster a challenging and rewarding workspace. We understand that the encouragement and development of each member of our staff will advance the practice of design. Our greatest assets are the people who make up the firm of Water Technology, Inc. and the communities that we serve. We specialize in fun!


In 1983, I co-founded Water Technology, Inc. and since that time, our company has been a pioneer in the planning, design and engineering of waterpark and aquatic facilities. Originally, I owned a successful pool contracting company, and I noticed that the architects and engineers my clients employed had little experience in pool design. That company was working on the related design issues and contracting interfaces. The idea for Water Technology, Inc. was born from a collaboration between Richard Whiteaker, my longtime friend and a mechanical engineer in the pool industry, and myself. Together, we created a specialized aquatic design and engineering company. Richard and I worked side-byside until his retirement in 1995. Today, our unique concept has proven itself to be immensely successful. Starting with two employees, our now worldrenowned firm has grown to more than 50 professionals, including architects, engineers, designers, landscape architects and planners. Our staff loves what they do, and they do it very well. Participation in the industry and a “hands-on role” has resulted in new and innovative design, placing Water Technology, Inc.

at the leading edge of aquatic industry standards and developments nationwide and around the world. Having been involved early on in the resortdestination market and indoor and outdoor waterparks, Chuck Neuman has had to design and develop systems to meet new challenges for both waterpark design and operations. The specialized design in water treatment and disinfection systems has been a paramount focus in addition to ventilation and humidity control. Chuck Neuman has been and continues to be on the forefront in filtration, ozone, UV and HVAC systems so critical to guest safety, public health and the waterpark experience. Although aquatic design is ever changing, the goals of Water Technology, Inc. remain the same ... safety, reliability and, of course, FUN.
Charles M. Neuman’s background consists of 30 years of experience in the design and construction of aquatic facilities. These facilities have had a great diversity in size, scope and function. They include indoor and outdoor facilities and range from public family aquatic centers to large commercial waterparks. He has been personally involved in projects from conceptual planning through design and the development of the engineering and mechanical designs to pool startup and operations.

Announcing the Opening of the Texas Office of Water Technology, Inc.
Water Technology, Inc. is proud to announce the July 2008 opening of our new office in Grapevine, Texas!
For the past 25 years, we have been proud to work with several Texans across numerous venues in the Lone Star State, including SeaWorld Adventure Park in San Antonio; several independent school districts and universities, including the University of Houston; many municipal aquatic centers, such as the recent opening of the Community Activity Center in Flower Mound, Texas; and large resort destination waterparks, including the Great Wolf Lodge project in Grapevine, Texas. It was a natural extension for us to bring our presence locally to Texas. We have been honored to work in the state of Texas and look forward to forming new alliances and making new friends, and a few of our experienced Wisconsin staff members are looking forward to leaving their snow-blowers behind. Our office in Grapevine will be fully staffed with principal, project management, design and CAD personnel, all backed by our 50-plus professional staff of planners, designers and engineers located in our Wisconsin headquarters and Chicago office.

WATER TECHNOLOGY, INC. (HEADQUARTERS) 100 Park Avenue • P.O. Box 614 Beaver Dam, WI 53916 800.538.8207 or 920.887.7375 General Fax: 920.887.7999 Marketing Fax: 920.887.8850

WATER TECHNOLOGY, INC. (TEXAS) 1701 W. Northwest Highway First Floor • Office #39 Grapevine, TX 76051 800.538.8207 or 817.329.5045 Fax: 817.329.5046

COMING SOON! Phoenix, AZ Dubai, UAE

Water Technology, Inc. Expands with Creativity in Mind
Flexibility, creativity and fun are desirable qualities to find in a firm filled with aquatic planners, designers and engineers. At Water Technology Inc.’s corporate headquarters in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, the work environment is now just as flexible, efficient and creative as the 50-plus employees who work there.
As the company grew, so did its need for a more creative work environment. Located at 100 Park Avenue, WTI’s offices are now the talk of the town. Clients from around the world who visit for design charettes get to experience one of the most creative design offices in the industry. Chuck Neuman, president of Water Technology, felt that the expansion was needed not only to accommodate the growing staff, but also to be a “creative and comfortable place to work that would promote a relaxed atmosphere and would inspire creativity.” The original building was built in 1897 and had various uses, including offices for S&W Woolworth and, most recently, Bank One. A serious fire in 1949 required the building to be rebuilt. When WTI took ownership, the building housed offices and design areas in 6,700 square feet on one floor. That space quickly became cramped, forcing improvements to an additional 6,700 square feet on the second floor. When a building adjacent to WTI became available, Chuck Neuman saw an opportunity to expand and create the work environment for his staff that he had always dreamed of. The result included another 6,700 square feet for design studios, marketing offices and meeting rooms for training, seminars and group design sessions. A vivid color scheme and reworked wiring for greater communications ability and future applications were just a couple improvements for energy efficiency and flexibility. Work areas were opened up to form larger, more group-oriented spaces for team design sessions. The adjacent building was the site of the neighborhood bowling alley. Although the building could not be saved, the alleys were. The alleys have been refurbished for the sake of history and fun and are used as long work tables. New energyefficient lighting systems were added that also allow for individual lighting control, even in this open floorplan design. Water Technology’s tagline is “Specializing in Fun!” and its offices reflect that sense of whimsy. A 100-foot waterslide winds its way through the first-floor design studio. A life-size cartoon character of an engineer with a set of plans watches over the slide, while a little girl plunges out of the slide, into the lobby of the building. Tubes, lifeguard equipment and shade structures all add up to the waterpark environment inside the design center. Dean Mueller, project manager for the expansion, found the experience to be “fun, challenging and a whole-team approach.” Water Technology’s offices have always been the center of community life. The Knights of Columbus, who had met for more than 60 years on the second floor of 100 Park Avenue, still continue to meet at this new and improved facility through the generosity of the company’s president, Chuck Neuman. One other attraction from the past, which has been refurbished and used on occasions of celebration, is a vintage 1950s bar with its original stools and lighting. It only follows suit that one of the most creative design firms in the world of aquatics would have one of the most unusual and creative work environments. When you next find yourself in Wisconsin, you may want to include the offices of Water Technology Inc. on your agenda.

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Calling All Consultants
While the facets of the industry are ever-changing, the need for fun remains constant. We specialize in fun. What are the new trends in waterparks, and what will set your park apart from the rest? How can you increase your marketability and brand your park to attract families and teenagers? How can you create a destination facility in your market? We have the answers.
When developing a waterpark, it is important that your team include a firm that understands and has diverse experience in waterpark planning and design. Water Technology, Inc. has been recognized as the leader in the waterpark industry for 25 years. Our unique understanding of waterparks is reflected in our national and international experience, educational leadership efforts and constant involvement in organizations such as the World Waterpark Association. Our diverse portfolio includes indoor and outdoor waterparks for both public and private clients. We have established precedents in the waterpark industry through our innovative and efficient designs for water amusement parks and indoor resort waterparks. Because our projects are located throughout the United States and overseas, we understand the importance of being part of a team that is adept at collaboration during all phases of a project. Our experience in working with so many consultants has helped us overcome the understandable learning curve that takes place when working with a new team of consultants. Our only focus is aquatics, and we have been serving municipalities and private developers across the United States since our firm was founded in 1983. Today, clients around the globe benefit from our services, which include pool evaluations, aquatic feasibility studies, programming/concept, preliminary design and budgeting through construction documents, construction administration and startup services. We welcome the opportunity to team with you and establish a long-lasting business relationship. Should you require additional information or have any questions, please feel free to contact us at 800.538.8207. We can provide additional, more detailed information on any of our services or disciplines for inclusion in your proposals or information packets. Venues Commercial waterparks Resort and hotel waterparks Family aquatic centers Community center aquatics Competitive venues Universities and schools YMCA/YWCA pools Clubs and community developments Wellness and therapy pools Water playgrounds

Aquatics in Motion


25 Years of Fun!


Aquatics in Motion

Pools have changed over the past 25 years; new equipment has come onto the scene, patrons’ expectations demand different amenities, and new concepts have evolved. When it was time to explore how things have changed during the last 25 years, we did the obvious and spoke to one of our senior designers, Claude Rogers, aquatic designer for 25-plus years. Claude just completed a masterplan for a project that has literally “grown up” with Water Technology: Washtenaw County’s Rolling Hills Waterpark in Ypsilanti, Michigan. This facility illustrates how the family aquatic center has grown in the last quarter of a century.

Aquatics in Motion


During the 1980s, stand-alone wave pools were all the rage in the Detroit area. In 1988, when the planning for Rolling Hills began, this was also their intention. At the time, it was a perceived notion that you had to build a wave pool to attract patrons. The parks and recreation director at the time did not think this was entirely a good idea. He discussed his concerns with the team, which included Water Technology. The result of these discussions was the design of a combination wave pool and leisure pool that you see in the first conceptual design. This facility was built in 1990 and included: • 9,000-square-foot wave pool attached to a • 9,000-square-foot leisure pool • Body flume slide and inner tube flume slide • Tot slide • Water Play features: SCS 107, bubblers, geysers and waterfalls • Sand play • Two sand volleyball courts • Concessions with concession trailer • Bath house, admissions, staff areas and first-aid building

• Pool mechanical building with an artificial rockwork exterior and flume slides starting from the roof of the building A few years later, lazy and action rivers were fast becoming the rage in the commercial waterpark scene, and this municipal facility took heed! In 2000, our firm assisted the county in developing an

expansion to the original facility to include the removal of the sand volleyball courts and addition of the lazy river and a spray play area, which was also becoming popular in aquatic centers. This opened to the public in 2002 and included: • Lazy river with an adventure channel and zero-depth entry


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• Spray play area with an AP 550 feature • Additional concrete deck and turf areas • Second pool mechanical building with guest restrooms • New concession building to replace the concession trailer In 2007, Water Technology Inc. was again employed by the county to assist them in programming and planning the proposed maximum size of the facility and the anticipated features to be added in the future. This process was implemented because the county had purchased many parcels of land adjacent to the park and was in the process of masterplanning the growth and development of the entire park. The study concluded that the facility needed additional entertainment capacity as opposed to physical capacity (bather load). Therefore, the physical expansion in overall size was modest and included: • Addition of a bowl slide exiting into the lazy river • Addition of a large speed slide complex with three slides starting from a 60-foot-high tower and terminating in run-out channels • Expansion of the spray play area to include a dumping bucket feature and other improvements to the AP 550 • A new entry and bather prep facility with improved features and family change amenities developed in conjunction with major roadway realignments and parking changes contemplated in the overall park redevelopment and expansion • Modification of the existing bather prep building into a group entrance for large groups and day-care operations • Modest expansion of the turf areas to the north to accommodate additional reservable shelters and expanded sun-bathing areas • Additional shade features




Aquatics in Motion


You’ve Come a Long Way Baby…
by Melinda Kempfer Reprinted from Recreation Management Magazine, November 2007

Once upon a time, we received calls from recreation professionals wondering what this “zero-depth thing” was, if waterslides were really safe, and why the heck put shade structures at a pool. This, of course, was several years ago. Aquatic recreational and programming needs of the public have evolved to the point where words like “zero-depth entry,” “interactive water play structures,” “competitive swimming,” and “accessibility” now are all part of the industry lexicon. They are no longer new trends, and family aquatic centers are no longer a luxury; they have become our new way of life.

There’s No Place Like Home
Aquatic centers continue to become increasingly popular because of the positive impact they have on the communities where they are built. The industry has seen that an aquatic element within a neighborhood positively impacts health, crime prevention, the environment, the economy, and the quality of life. Well attended parks help decrease vandalism and fear of crime within parks. They evoke a sense of ownership as residents become more involved in “park watch” programs. Family aquatic centers have become important to the economic development of neighborhoods across the nation by helping create a place where people want to live and do business. Grass ro o t s r e v i t a l i z a t i o n a n d g r o w t h programs that focus on beautification projects and commerce, including streetscapes and curb appeal in neighborhoods around the aquatic center, are often initiated after aquatic facilities are built. Gas prices and the economy result in people traveling less and rethinking long distance family vacations. Neighborhood aquatic centers, destination resorts and commercial waterparks top the list of fun things to do close to home; they offer something of interest to each member of the family.

dance, participation, revenue and fulfills guest expectations. But, equipment isn’t the only thing that is a new trend. We need to take a step back and look at the communities we serve.

A Grandmother and a Teenager Walk into the Pool…
No, this is not the beginning of a joke; it is a new trend in aquatics — the design and programming for the multi-generational and programmatic needs within our pools. A community waterpark facility is an amenity that helps weave the threads of a community and enhance the quality of life, family, togetherness, and wellness of its residents. It serves the entire public including active retired adults, aging baby boomers, parents, teenagers, tweens, young children, toddlers, and infants. There is recreational value that meets the needs of each demographic in a community. Programming within aquatic centers and parks encourage people to gather and share an event. Let’s take a look at who is swimming where: • Wellness and healing. The aging population has increased the demand for low-impact exercise programs. Because water buoyancy gives a person more freedom, movement becomes easier. Water also adds a graded resistance during exercise. Current channels or lazy rivers can be used for resistance or assistive walking classes during one time of the day and can then be used as a recreational river to serve another group. • Conversation and socializing areas within the pool – three to five feet of water – with bubble benches and sitting areas are becoming prevalent in new designs. • The inclusion of water playgrounds into municipal parks is on the rise. These interactive areas can be located adjacent to other recreation venues or in stand alone parks or urban areas.

• Guest accommodations are becoming commonplace in municipal pools — shade is ever increasingly important today along deck chairs and pavilions where guests can be comfortable. A comfortable guest spends more time at the park. • Do not enter! Difficult-to-please demographics include the tweens and teenagers who don’t always want to hang out with mom and dad. An aquatic craze among those participants is the “Teen Zone.” This is a separate, yet very visible, section of the deck or grass area that is programmed for this specific group. Within their “own space,” they can socialize, enjoy popular music, and just hang out. • Some facilities have designated areas for adults only. While parents with small children in the pool should not be encouraged to visit these areas, it is a relaxing environment for adults or seniors who would like attend the pool without interaction with children. • One final trend that shouldn’t be overlooked is theming. Themed environments within a park have become common in both commercial and municipal waterparks. The ability to package some sort of experience and create an instant atmosphere will transform guests into another world as they navigate through the park. This concept creates excitement and a sense of arrival for the guest and can help increase the length of stay.

So What’s New?
Pools are still popular, but what are today’s “new trends”? Of course there is a plethora of innovative equipment that has made the scene. Commercial waterparks are a big influence in the municipal family aquatic centers. Rides have become more exciting to keep up with the public’s demand and entertainment needs. We are starting to see amenities like surf generators, speed slides, bowl slides, wave pools, water coasters, and multi-level play structures in public aquatic centers. Bringing this excitement to the municipal pool helps increase atten-

Income Generators
Designing for revenue is essential. It is imperative that communities maximize the use of these multi-pool complexes for the long term funding of the facility; the aging, outdated pools of our past were a drain on the taxpayer. Today’s aquatic facilities are finding income beyond the entrance gates and ticket counters. • Family aquatic centers are including rentable cabanas within their facilities. These cabanas are rented for an

Aquatics in Motion


increment of time and allow for families and groups to have a shaded, centralized meeting area. They have become a great source of revenue for many municipalities. • A popular place for children’s birthday parties is the neighborhood swimming pool. Many aquatic centers are including both indoor air conditioned rooms and outdoor shaded areas designated for these reserved get-togethers. Popular packages include admission for the attendees, pizza, snacks and a birthday cake. After follow up with our clients, we have found that these areas are continually reserved and another great source of revenue.

we gain more experience on each project we undertake. Internally, we have a group of professionals who meet on a regular basis to discuss LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) sustainable practices and how we can apply them to our projects. We are also committed to enhancing energy efficiency in its own operations. We have 25 years of firm experience in aquatic planning, design, and engineering and have become a recognized leader in the industry. We feel that it is our responsibility to develop new ways to apply sustainable design practices to our projects and in turn encourage manufacturers that we specify to make this same commitment. Where there are challenges we find opportunities…

tell our constituents they can only water their grass at certain times, yet we fill our pools with thousands of gallons of water each season. New trend — water consciousness. Water usage is an important consideration in the design and operation of swimming pools. Contributors to water usage include evaporation, bather carry out, splash out and backwash. Control of water usage is important because of the operational efforts placed into the water, including chemical treatment, balance, and heating. Utilizing regenerative media filtration, it is possible to reduce backwash loss by over 90%. These filters represent a capital investment premium, but one which the client should be given the information to make informed decisions regarding the value of this investment. Changes in water filtration systems including UV filtration is another current and future trend in the industry. UV is quickly becoming a standard for addressing chloramines at indoor aquatic facilities

Easy Being Green
Water Technology, Inc. is committed to energy efficiency, conservation and the use of sustainable building practices. Our firm has been a proponent of energy efficient pool operations for many years. It is something that we feel is important, and

Water, Water, Everywhere
Global warming studies forecast more water shortages that will impact the water supply of communities nationwide. We


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and proactively addresses Cryptosporidium and other chlorine resistant pathogens in outdoor pools.

lines. Most, though, are more in line with operators’ budgets. For smaller facilities with limited budgets, operators are no longer limited to round “umbrellas.” Today’s shade manufacturers offer a wide array of shapes, styles and colors that fit the most discriminating operator and constrained pocketbook. Geometric shapes with hard angles and strong lines are popular; from a designer’s perspective, they contrast sharply with organic forms of the pool and landscaping. They can also be used to complement the buildings and other elements on the site. Flexible shade units, those that allow for movement of the unit and for repositioning to accomodate for the time of day, are extremely popular for dining or group areas. Color fastness has also improved greatly over the years, and many operators are able to push the envelope, so to speak, when it comes to choosing colors. Solid colors in groupings that pull from surrounding elements add continuity and balance to a site. This helps “rest” the eyes as well as providing a “way-finding” opportunity. Parents can indicate to their children what area they will be staying or meeting. Groups can be designated sections of a facility based on these colors. This helps if space constraints or development costs prohibit creating separate group areas. Though, for some facilities, the “English Garden” approach can be very aesthetically pleasing if designed and executed properly. Other cost effective improvements operators can make include adding misting stations and portable refreshment stands. For those with larger pocketbooks, adding spray pads and fountains allow users to cool off without being completely submerged in water. These are especially nice for younger children who may be intimidated by large pools and crowds, or do not have strong swimming capabilities. The caveat is that these require extensive design and engineering for mechanical systems and infrastructure if not included or allocated during master planning of the facility. Facilities are also beginning to take advantage of the expansion or renovation properties of certain play features

Gimme Shelter!
The addition of shade to the facility is a dramatic improvement. These structures will add a focal point and attractiveness to the site transforming the existing space and have come to be expected at today’s aquatic centers. Sun safety has become an integral part of daily living; skin cancer rates are rising and exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun is a major contributor. Parents with young children are especially aware of the dangers associated with exposure to the sun. The addition of these shade structures will show your residents and employees that you care about providing a healthy, cool and comfortable environment for summer recreation. Your employees spend a large part of the day outside and in hot weather. This can lead to heat-related illnesses and an employee who may become less alert and unable to perform their duties completely. Installing shade is one solution in addressing health concerns and comfort. Today’s economic climate has left operators facing increased competition, therefore looking for creative and inexpensive ways to improve their facilities. These improvements are a result of one of the primary requests from guest surveys regarding opportunities to improve guest satisfaction and experience. Concerns about health and safety are prevalent not only to guests, but also to designers in the design phase. Today we find ourselves adding more shade in development plans so that operators can add more in the future, quickly and efficiently, as budgets allow. More and more, guests will find shade over all parts of the facility, including the pools themselves. Some are extreme, such as the large tensile structures covering entire sites. One children’s pool recently installed at Whitewater World in Australia is covered entirely with shade to shade structures. You will also find play structures draped in shade as well as waterslide towers and queue

that have been introduced in recent years. These too are for those facilities whose operators and designers had the foresight to include in original designs and that could withstand the value engineering “chopping block.”

Pooling Resources
We have begun to see the trend of joint partnerships between public and private entities in the municipal pool market. Many of our city recreation centers have partnered with the high schools, hospitals and YMCAs to produce a win-win situation. The recreation department is able to subsidize and operate a facility that will satisfy the recreational needs of the community while the other entities are able to fill their particular needs without the burden of operating the facility. Knowing what areas can double as teaching spaces, training areas and recreational swim/buy outs and rentals while still meeting guest needs is essential.

Is That Your Final Answer?
Yes, Americans still love to swim. A variety of surveys and studies conducted throughout the nation have provided us with the conclusive evidence of the importance of swimming as a leisure activity. Swimming is now only second to walking as the most popular exercise in the United States, with more than 368 million annual visits to swimming pools. Swimming, however, ranks first among all ages as the most popular recreational activity in the nation. The family aquatic center still responds to the very basic needs and interests of the consumer. Its emphasis is based upon the premise that the swimming pool visitor is primarily interested in a quality leisure experience that includes high entertainment and social values. The right blend of entertainment, multi-generational programming, along with the now traditional aquatic requirements, such as zero depth and interactive play, has proven successful for communities of all sizes.

Aquatics in Motion


Featured Facility

The project is the result of a strategic process that began in 2003 when a community needs assessment was conducted to solicit feedback and input on the programs and facilities provided by the department. The firm Green Play was hired to coordinate a needs assessment. Many focus groups and public meetings were held to allow citizens of the community to express their opinions on what park- and recreation-related priorities should be as future improvements were considered. Leisure Vision was hired as part of the planning process to conduct a statistically valid survey to gain a clearer picture of the community’s views on parkand recreation-related projects and prior-


On June 30, 2007, the Aberdeen Aquatic Center drew a huge crowd to celebrate the grand opening of the long-awaited waterpark. The $7.4 million facility replaced two aging pools in town and is sited where the 50-year-old Southside Pool used to be.

ities. A number of questions in the survey asked specifically about whether they would use a new aquatic center and if they would support funding for a new aquatic facility. Feedback from the needs assessment meetings and survey indicated that there was support for developing a new aquatic center, and as a result, the Park and Recreation Board budgeted the necessary funds to hire a pool consultant to begin Phase I of the planning process. In February 2005, the Park and Recreation Board entered into a contract with Water Technology, Inc. to begin

planning for the new outdoor aquatic center. The Board appointed a poolplanning committee with representatives of the community to coordinate and lead the planning process. Water Technology and Ballard*King & Associates met numerous times with the pool planning committee and community groups to educate them on features of modern aquatic centers and to solicit input on what type of features were important to the people of Aberdeen. Water Technology completed an evaluation of the two aging pools in Aberdeen and identified numerous structural and mechanical problems with the existing


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facilities. A cost-benefit comparison indicated it was more economically feasible to build a new facility rather than renovating the existing pools. The pools had lost appeal to the general public, as witnessed by declining attendance and revenue during the past few years. According to Doug Johnson, Parks and Recreation Director, approximately 40 percent of the pool operations of the two pools were being subsidized each summer. Building a new family aquatic center is the best option for the city of Aberdeen. Mayor Mike Levsen said, “There was strong community support. Our Southside Pool was getting to the point of being inoperable anymore, and it just wasn’t very much fun compared to the new waterparks.” The city also felt a responsibility to the youth in the area to get a project like this passed. Levsen said, “I think, for a city of this size, you need a pool where they can go play and have fun on a hot summer day. It’s one of the services a city should provide.” The project was funded by issuing revenue bonds, which would be financed over a 20-year period. This debt is serviced by the Second Penny Sales Tax Fund, which generates about $7 million a year for the City of Aberdeen. Lastly, a generous donation by the Aberdeen Swim Team of $300,000 was helpful in the development of the competitive pool and its support facilities. In order to serve the community’s needs, it was necessary to involve all staff members and citizens in the planning process. It was with great leadership, vision and responsiveness that the design team had the privilege to work with Doug Johnson and his staff. Doug’s energetic spirit, community insight and organizational skills helped guide the meetings and presentations and facilitate productivity and cooperation of community citizens through an engaging environment. Doug and his staff were an integral part of the team that translated the community’s needs into the final product. The efforts of the Swimming Pool Committee, the Park

and Recreation Board and all of the members of the Community Focus Groups helped the team to understand what the public desired to meet the current and future aquatic needs of Aberdeen. The planning goals and objectives of the Outdoor Family Aquatic Center Committee, Park Board and community leaders were: • Financially, the new facility should be designed to operate close to 100 percent cost recovery • Provide the public with recreational swimming opportunities even when there is competitive swimming being hosted by the community • Provide ample parking • Locate aquatic facility on accessible site in community capable of expansion • Ensure that, during the course of the study and concept design, the project team provides good leadership, educational input to community, community access at all phases, community consensus building and accomplish all the above with good public relations Based on the results of program survey options, community, staff and committee input, a program that included a leisure pool, lazy river, body water flume slides, inner tube flume slides and a competitive/recreation pool that would accommodate swimming meets without the requirement to close the leisure pool was determined. The support amenities included the entrance building, the concessions

building and the mechanical building. Site features included decks with chaise lounges, shade umbrellas, sun turf areas, sandplay, a reservable shelter, landscaped environments and coordinated signs, furniture and colors throughout the facility for aesthetic appeal. Following the feasibility study and community input meetings, Water Technology developed four concepts that illustrated a variety of pool components, sizes, configurations and entrance building locations on the site. Each design concept was developed to progressively include more program elements, and the construction cost estimates also increased with the additional element inclusion. The opinion of probable construction cost aligned into the ranges $4.5, $5.6, $6.2 and more than $6.6 million. The $4.5 million concept was an effort to meet the initially proposed conceptual cost, and each additional concept included more components that the community desired. When the concepts were presented to all of the groups that assisted in development of the program, it was nearly unanimous that every group chose the last concept and desired the largest lazy river that the budget would support. The public open house was extremely wellattended by community citizens, more than 125, and they requested that the lazy river be as long as possible and preferred the 1,000-foot length illustrated on the masterplan. The pool concept

The Aberdeen Aquatic Center is an amenity that has helped to weave the threads of the community and has enhanced the quality of life, family, togetherness and wellness of its residents. It serves a multi-generational public, including seniors, parents, teenagers, young children, toddlers and infants. There is recreational value that meets the needs of each demographic in a community. By combining competitive and leisure components into one facility, it created a partnership that includes a full spectrum of activities that complement each other very well.

Amenities 9,000-SF leisure pool: • Zero-depth entry • Multi-level interactive water play structure • Geysers • Kiddie frog slide • 250 LF lazy river • 280 LF tube slide • 215 LF open-body flume slide • 125 LF enclosed-body flume slide Eight-Lane, 50-meter competition pool: • 9,845 SF • One 1-meter diving board • One 3-meter diving board • Two drop slides • Five themed floatables • Water basketball area • Water polo area • Sun deck area • Sand playground area, featuring a variety of playground equipment, including backhoe diggers, spring animals and several water playground pieces • Concession stand with shaded seating area • Large, spacious deck area with shade structures with chaise lounge chairs • Rental picnic shelter

also provided a separate eight-lane competition pool. The leisure pool and competition pool are designed so they can operate in unison or, during a large swim meet, the leisure pool can operate independently, so the community can continue to benefit from the family recreational value it brings to the region. This chosen concept located the entrance on the east side of the facility centered on the parking area. This allowed equal walking distance to the entrance from various parking areas. The parking and street entrances were configured as a centralized drop-off to the entrance building. The 9,000-square-foot leisure pool with zero-depth entry includes a colorful water feature with a multi-level play structure that includes waterslides and interactive features that dump, spill and squirt water. The eight-lane, 50-meter lap pool was designed for competitive meets. Water basketball and polo can be played there as well. It features 1-meter and 3-meter diving boards, two drop slides and floatable play features, including a dinosaur, an alligator, a snake, a turtle and a crab. The removable floatables were an inno-

vative way to add recreation value to a competitive pool when swim meets were not being held. During competitive meets, the pool acts as a stand-alone facility. To accommodate both the public and spectators, there is an alternate entrance near the lap pool for swim meets. “The swim team has been very supportive of this project, and we wanted to accommodate them as best we could,” Aquatics and Recreation Supervisor Travis Lemer said. Restrooms were designed in the mechanical building for use by competitive swimmers and spectators. The picnic and turf areas were also designed to be cordoned off during swim meets for use by home and visiting teams for camp areas. The city is excited for the 2008 season, when the state meet will be held at their facility. The much-anticipated river is located on the north side of the facility; it is 350 feet long with five wall sprays located within it. It can be accessed from both the leisure and slide plunge pool, keeping the flow of the rides and attractions smooth.


Aquatics in Motion

Aquatics in Motion



The Mansion on Peachtree

Buckhead, Georgia

The Mansion on Peachtree is one of the world’s finest and most prominent private condominium residences and hotels with breathtaking views of Atlanta. With three garden villas and glimpses of the city from above, the property offers some of Atlanta’s most affluent citizens and guests spectacular views and unparalleled amenities. A restaurant pavilion with sidewalk seating opens directly to Peachtree Street, screening a formal stone-paved motor court serving the hotel guests; a separate entry off Stratford Road serves condominium residents. A second restaurant, a leisure pool, banquet facilities, and a spa and fitness center overlook a terraced garden with a reflection pool. The enclosed rooftop 1,059-square-foot ultra-modern leisure pool is surrounded by windows that display intimate views of the lush garden and reflection pool, an environment that encourages relaxation and serenity. The pool is a sanctuary for users to take a leisurely swim and be engulfed in tranquility. The Mansion is the very first ultra-luxury hotel and residential development in Atlanta.

Community Activity Center

Flower Mound, Texas
As a result, the town held a bond election in February 2002, in which residents voted to approve $25 million in bonds to build three primary parks and recreation projects: Bakersfield Park — a soccer, softball and baseball complex for boys, girls, youth and adults; Chinn Chapel Soccer Complex — a soccer facility for boys, girls, youth and adults; and a community activity center. Both Bakersfield Park and Chinn Chapel Soccer Complex are complete. Now open, the Community Activity Center is the final project from the 2002 election. With a variety of amenities, the center has something for residents of all ages. The facility is made up of an indoor competition swimming pool with a slide and a diving board, an outdoor family aquatic center, a skate park, a gymnasium, a fitness area with a jogging track, and meeting rooms, including a senior area and a teen area. The center also hosts year-round recreational programs that include crafts, performing arts and athletic activities.

In July 2001, the Town Council-appointed Blue Ribbon Committee began holding numerous public meetings to identify and develop strategies for responding to the community’s needs and wishes for projects in a future bond election. An overwhelming majority of residents voiced their desire for Flower Mound to build more parks and recreational facilities.


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C.A. Knight Recreation Complex at MacDonald Island Park
Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada
This multi-purpose recreation centre, officially named the C.A. Knight Recreation Complex, is one of Fort McMurray’s cornerstone sporting facilities. As the region continues to expand, the recreation complex is being redeveloped accordingly to accommodate the rapidly increasing population and demand. Schematic design of the three-story facility includes seven of the top 10 indoor planning priorities specified as desirable by the community in the pre-feasibility study. Uniquely qualified as an aquatic consultant due to specialized experience of staff, Water Technology, Inc. was rewarded to design the aquatic component of the C.A. Knight Recreation Complex. The new facility will open in stages, with the aquatic centre scheduled to open in 2008.

Greeley Masterplan

Greeley, Colorado
rate, it is important to assess the programming needs throughout the city and balance accordingly. For this project, our firm took a comprehensive approach to reviewing the Greeley community’s aquatic needs, both for today and in the future. We began by looking at the representational coverage areas for all existing and future facilities, which helped identify the areas of Greeley lacking development. The plan that was developed illustrated replacement of the existing Island Grove and Sunrise pools with water playgrounds, a renovation of the Centennial Park facility and the development of a new Family Aquatic Center to serve the aquatic recreational needs of the City of Greeley. Water Technology detailed the specific budgets for all of the proposed work and developed the specific concepts for each facility. The City of Greeley, Colorado, is also the home to the Adventure Island at Family FunPlex Indoor Recreation Center, which offers a children’s pool, a current channel and a multi-purpose pool including a plunge area, a leisure pool and lap lanes, designed by Water Technology, Inc.

Water Technology, Inc. was hired by the City of Greeley in 2004 to perform an aquatic facility masterplan that encompassed the evaluation and renovation of aging facilities and the exploration of future facilities. When a community such as Greeley grows at such a rapid

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Crystal Towers Condominiums
The 20-story Crystal Towers Condominium, located on West Beach in Gulf Shores, Alabama, contains 170 residential units, each with access to two large outdoor pools surrounded by a full-sized deck and one indoor pool for year-round enjoyment. The Towers are connected to a private beach club via an enclosed air-conditioned walkway over West Beach Boulevard. The beach club contains the largest swimming pool on the Alabama Gulf Coast, a lazy river and a huge spa, surrounded by a landscaped wraparound deck and a gated boardwalk leading to miles of extending Alabama beaches just feet away.

Gulf Shores, Alabama

SomerSplash Waterpark

Somerset, Kentucky
to the city by a local businessman. The local baseball association also donated a portion of land, and in exchange, the city built a parking lot large enough to include the full build-out of both the waterpark and baseball fields. New in 2007! The wave pool is a huge addition to the successful aquatic center. Covering 19,000 square feet, the pool starts at zero feet, gradually getting deeper, up to six feet in depth. The wave pool pumps and mechanism can produce several wave patterns, cresting up to four-foot waves. The front and right sections of the pool are partially divided off from the rest of the main pool by a wall. This is a shallow pool of around one to one and a half feet of water that children can enjoy while feeling the action of the wave pool. Also in this section are several water spray features, including “flower fountains” and other small sprays. Above the deep section of the wave pool is a “staging area,” which has lounge chairs, etc., where parents and others can watch the entire pool area from an elevated vantage point.

“We have the longest lazy river in the state of Kentucky,” said Faith Anne Molyneaux, facility manager, in a newspaper article regarding the opening of Somerset, Kentucky’s new waterpark in 2006. The park is located on a 20-acre parcel of land that was donated


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Wild Waters Family Aquatic Center
The Wild Waters Family Aquatic Center was built to replace the old 1950s-era municipal pool in Walsenburg. It occupies one half of the City Park in Walsenburg and is conveniently located for easy access for travelers from any direction. In addition to the aquatics, the new state-of-the-art facility offers fully equipped dressing rooms with showers and lockers, a concessions area and a visitor center. With the patron in mind, Water Technology designed the facility to cater to daily visitor traffic as well as hosting private parties, concerts and other special events. With the tumble buckets, an interactive play structure, giant waterslides, a diving board, and a lazy river, the park is sure to please guests while they soak up some Colorado sun!

Walsenburg, Colorado

Creekside Family Aquatic Center
Water Technology, Inc. worked with The Woodlands Development Company in the planning and conceptual design of a new aquatic facility in the village of Creekside Park in The Woodlands. Together, we developed a program of aquatic needs and requirements for the facility. The final report outlined the intended uses of the facility, required program spaces and a needs analysis report for the proposed facility. Water Technology continued on the second phase of the project, led by Clark Condon Associates, Inc., in the schematic design, design development, construction documents and construction administration phases. Now completed, the Creekside Family Aquatic Center is a wonderful source of aquatic entertainment in the residents in The Woodlands, Texas, with a leisure pool, a lazy river, an interactive waterplay structure and a waterslide complex.

The Woodlands, Texas

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Aquatics in Motion

Aquatics in Motion


by Melinda Kempfer Reprinted from Parks & Rec Business, November 2008


Play /ple_/ :to engage in (a game, pastime, etc.) Play is a dynamic process that develops and changes as humans grow and evolve. The simple act of play actually becomes increasingly more varied and complex. It is an essential and integral part of a child’s development and physical growth. The demands on today’s children are much different from previous generations, and consequently, there is less play time in their lives. It is our responsibility as “professionals of fun” to understand this important lifelong skill and how to integrate play into our designs, facilities and programming.

Youth at Risk
Watch the news. “Studies show early signs of heart disease found in U.S. children. One in seven school-aged children have three or more risk factors predisposing them to deadly cardiovascular conditions. Sixtyfive percent of all children 10 to 18 years cannot pass a minimum standard of fitness. One out of every four teenagers is dangerously overweight!” Additionally, drowning remains the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1 to 14 years, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is largely due to a lack of access to recreational water activities.

We continuously preach exercise, but how do we “force” children to exercise? Perhaps we simply make it more fun. Humans have a natural affinity to water, and it is associated with fun in many instances: bubble baths, open fire hydrants on a hot day, running through the sprinkler and spending time at the lake or the ocean. In order to understand what aquatic trends will become popular and how to design for multi-generational programming, we must first look at the fundamentals and benefits of play, what motivates an individual to participate and how each age group plays in the water.
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Physical Development
Swimming can improve strength, balance and flexibility. It provides an aerobic benefit that is relatively injury-free in comparison to other sports. “The water’s unique properties allow the pool to provide an environment for people of all abilities,” as stated by the Aquatic Exercise Association. “Buoyancy creates a reduced-impact exercise alternative that is easy on the joints, while the water’s resistance challenges all the muscles. Water lends itself to a wellbalanced workout that improves all major components of physical fitness — aerobic training, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility and body composition.” It is also
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a sport that can be a lifetime activity; participants may be 1 or 101 years old.

enjoyable, while at the same time providing fitness benefits.

Social Development
Through social play, children and adults learn to cooperate and appreciate the importance of taking others’ needs and feelings into account. Playing together fosters awareness and understanding of a variety of values and attitudes. These great strides in development all happen while the person is laughing, establishing friendships while they are having fun. Water is a safe sport for children of all ages and proficiency levels. Learn-toswim and aqua classes can be socially

Psychological and Emotional Development
A water sport promotes fitness and cultivates a positive attitude. An accomplishment of finally mastering the back float or competing in a swim meet can help increase self-esteem. Spend some time at a pool, and count the times you hear, “Watch me, Mom!” Playing in the water promotes increased energy levels and promotes children to strive for physical achievement.


swim classes are also often the first social experiences outside of the home. The zerodepth edge of the pool presents a gradual, non-threatening entrance into warm water. Aquatic classes in the leisure and shallow water pools, such as splash time and parent and tot classes, are popular among this age group.

3 to 5 Years
This age group plays in small groups, uses props, engages in pretend play and does it passionately with no absolute goals in mind. Blissful. Individually, they are building confidence, and socially, they are learning to share and cooperate. In the water, they respond to interactive play, including small dumping buckets, floatables and children’s slides. Slides that accommodate several children at once are timeless. Initially, 3year-olds ride with the assistance of parents; as they become more daring, they go down in pairs holding hands, and eventually, they are racing their peers down the same slide. Aquatic lessons should be fun and kept to smaller numbers — say, five children per class. In the preschool level, skills will range from kicking their feet at the edge of the pool to swimming up to 25 yards on their front and back.

Water is iconic to stress relief — soothing waterfalls, gentle rains, calm waters. Swimming forces you to regulate breathing and allows more oxygen to flow into muscles. The warm water of a wellness pool or whirlpool can help to calm nerves, stimulate cardiovascular circulation and soothe the mind and body.

rehabilitation but also present adequate and appropriate depth and temperature for learn-to-swim lessons. Ultimately, it is important to provide a safe environment for any type of play, especially in the water. Supervision is imperative in any type of design. Understanding how these facilities operate helps the design team to properly place offices, observation and seating areas for easy maintenance and safety.

Age Groups – How They Play
Each age group plays and responds differently to areas of the pool and its amenities. An accomplished aquatic designer understands the “play needs” of each generation and translates this into his or her pool designs. This ensures there are multiple options for everyone to engage users at the pool. Understanding the needs for multiple programming spaces is another design consideration often overlooked by an inexperienced team. Knowing what areas can double as teaching spaces, training areas and recreational swim/buyouts and rentals, while still meeting guest’s needs, is an acquired skill. For example, current channels or lazy rivers can be used for resistance or assistive walking classes during one time of the day and can then be used as a recreational river to serve another group. Warm-water wellness pools provide a place for therapy and

0 to 3 Years
Concentrating on their own needs, infants play alone, while toddlers will play side by side. They engage in activities that stimulate their senses. Playing involves physical activity, and it is closely related to the development and refinement of a child’s motor skills and coordination process. Infants intuitively prefer high-contrast edges and patterns and respond best to primary colors. The interactive play structures available today address this theory and are popular within this age group. Modestsized water spray features initiate the quest for interacting with water in motion and stimulate rudimentary fantasy play. Infants respond visually, and smaller toddlers will approach and interact. Many babies learn to swim before they walk because of the buoyancy they encounter in the water. Infant and toddler

5 to 8 Years
At this age, kids are starting to play formal and informal games with their peers. There may be a winner, per se, or just the common goal of accomplishing a task (e.g., hopscotch). This play helps them to refine their social skills and understand cooperation, teamwork and competition. Role-playing is popular among this age group, and imitating their role models is a popular pastime (playing house). Providing a multi-level play structure with props such as ropes, ladders, cubby spaces and interactive play stimulate their imaginations. It is imperative to a child of this age to be challenged and be provided the opportunity to demonstrate their talents and abilities (“Watch me, Dad!”). The leisure, activity pools and lazy rivers facilitate this type of play. It takes courage to ride the flume slide
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for the first time, engage in a game of water basketball, or hold your best friend’s hand down the adventure channel and navigate an inflatable obstacle course. Aquatic programming begins to take the form of children’s masters and diving classes. Students begin to build upon their learned abilities, moving on to the next level in their swimming abilities. It is still important to continue to offer learn-to-swim classes, especially in underserved populations, where children have not had the benefit of aquatic recreation.

8 to 13 Years
At this age, we become more organized and structured. Achievement becomes more important, and we start to set goals and milestones for ourselves. The activity pool, with deeper water, provides a challenging environment. Flume slides, mat racer slides, activity pools, floatables, net walks, water basketball, aqua climbing walls, surf simulators, rope swings, etc. The more exciting and challenging, the more appealing the activity becomes. Studies also show that playing can enhance the learning process. The more physical the play — moving, stretching and resistive — the better. Programming includes junior lifeguarding, advanced swimming and diving. These help to build endurance, strength and speed, increasing overall fitness levels. An activity night or designated swim

night with peers is attractive, as this age group is beginning to thrive socially outside the family unit.

It is common knowledge that during our teenage years, our socialization moves from our families to our peer groups. We channel our energy (fun) into specialized clubs, youth groups, volunteer activities and team sports. The complexity has moved from blissful play to that of selfawareness and social standing. In addition to the entertainment value of the challenging environments of their

previous peer group, teenagers desire separate social spaces. This often difficult-to-please demographic does not want to always hang out with Mom and Dad. An aquatic craze among those participants is the “Teen Zone.” This is a separate, yet very visible, section of the deck or grass area that is programmed for this specific group. Within their “own space,” they can socialize, enjoy popular music, engage in social interactive activities like Rock Band, Guitar Hero, or others and just hang out to be social. Aquatic programming for this age group could include lifeguard and instructor training and competitive swim groups.

We have a big lesson to relearn here. Play. Somewhere along the way, we concluded that grown-up play is viewed as a weakness, and that successful people just work; we need permission to play again. We have just agreed that play is a mind and body integration and a social necessity. Play is a relaxed spontaneity that should be embraced, even into adulthood. Adults should revisit what fun was for them as a child. Many adults that were involved in competitive swim groups are seeking out adult swim master programs. Water exercise, aerobics, water polo, aqua jog and resistance walk programs
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translate into fun adult programming. Shhhhhh … adults have fun on waterslides too.

How People Play Together
Multi-generational recreation and fitness provide something for everyone under one roof; swimming is ageless. It is often said that families that play together stay together. For example, recreational swimming provides seniors occasion to frequent the aquatic facility with their children and grandchildren. Teenagers can challenge their younger siblings or parents to a game of basketball in the water. Or we can just relax together floating down the lazy river. It is interesting to watch the interaction between age groups: best friends, rivals, siblings, parents and grandparents. This is where a crossover into each area of the pool occurs and where we find a social interaction between generations. Water brings together generations and allows everyone an opportunity to benefit individually and together.

Swimming ranks first among all ages as the most popular recreational activity in the nation. Aquatic recreation has become more complex throughout the years, kind of like play. Everything has stepped up a notch, and people demand more entertainment value. First, understand who your patrons are, and then understand how they play, and ultimately, you will be successful as a “professional of fun.” When I was 7 years old, my best friend’s family had a backyard pool. Our favorite pool game was one in which her dad would throw plastic shells to the bottom of the pool and we would dive for them. The winner found the shell that had the penny inside. Perhaps this would not satisfy the expectations of today’s kids (video games), but it is still important to promote this type of imagination. Water in its pure form does just that — it enriches our imagination and creates memorable experiences. Play is not a waste of our time. It has a crucial role in the development of the physical, social and emotional growth of individuals in our society. Give yourself permission to play, and continue to encourage curiosity and provide facilities and programs that facilitate play. Simon says.

The pool is an ideal opportunity for parents of young children to meet like-minded people who share common interests. Take a quick scan over the pool area, and you will find moms and dads congregating in the zero-depth area with their tots. It is also common to find parents floating down the lazy river with a baby or sleeping child strewn across their lap. It is also pretty cool to be able to tell your friends that you beat your dad down the mat racer slide. Aquatic programming to support the parent network is important — parent/infant, parent/toddler and adult swim classes.

Active Senior Adults
Swimming is one of the best exercise and social environments available to seniors. It is safe and easy on the body, allowing people to move their bodies without bearing their weight. It is an ideal way for seniors to get in shape and improve their overall well-being. For some disabled people and seniors, water gives them a sense of freedom as they freely move around in the water. An aquatic fitness class is a great social outlet for seniors. Warm-water lap lanes and wellness pools provide popular warm water activities such as silver sneakers, aqua-restore (stay young with water) lowimpact aqua fitness, aqua walking and underwater bikes. Vortex and lazy rivers offer assistive-walking opportunities, and whirlpools and social benches offer social spaces enjoyed by this age group. Do not forget about the non-aquatic amenities in any age group, let alone for seniors. Areas that promote socialization outside of class, a café or comfortable deck seating is ideal. This is an attractive amenity that promotes return guests.

Think Outside the Pool
Many programs are scheduled specifically so that parents can enjoy fitness classes while their children take part in separate age — and interest — appropriate activities at the same time. Make sure all programming coincides with the goal of multigenerational appeal.


Aquatics in Motion

Audit Trail
by Melinda Kempfer Reprinted from Athletic Business, May 2006

A pool evaluation can help operators of aging aquatic facilities determine wheter a renovation — or a rebuild — is in order.
The traditional definition of an outdoor public swimming pool used to be a rectangular tank of water (perhaps with a diving well) and a concrete deck, usually surrounded by a chain-link fence. That definition has changed significantly over the years, and it is common now to hear the words “zero-depth entry,” “interactive waterplay structures,” “accessibility” and “competitive swimming” when discussing aquatic facilities. For years, facility operators have attempted to blend new concepts into aquatic centers in an effort to serve a multitude of generations and user groups. Yet despite countless surveys that indicate swimming is one of the all-time favorite recreational activities in the United States, attendance at many older public pools continues to decline — in large part because they are failing to meet the needs of their communities. It is time for operators to reconsider their approach to aquatics and re-evaluate their outdated, underutilized municipal swimming pools. Many of them are in declining physical condition and struggling to compete with new family aquatic centers that likely feature the amenities of full-scale water parks.

Where to Begin?
The first step in the evaluation of an aquatic facility is recognizing that the pool and its amenities may no longer adequately serve their users. This can be difficult to accept, but a closer look at the deteriorating condition of the pool structure, the unappealing changing area and locker room facilities and the outdated mechanical systems will likely support an argument for improvement. Before calling in a professional consulting team, a facility operator can troubleshoot several components of a pool on his or her own, including checking for shell leaks, conducting operational-safety and risk-management audits, performing lifeexpectancy evaluations, surveying users and evaluating chemical-safety and accessibility issues. In some cases, the pool itself may still be in sound structural condition and operating effectively, but it does not meet the market expectations of increasingly sophisticated users. Younger families, for example, probably won’t find much appeal in a traditional deep-water competition pool. Successful aquatic centers

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Many users may not understand the programming goals that could be realized with a renovated or new facility.

offer amenities and programming for families, learn-to-swim students, competitive swimmers, water-fitness enthusiasts, seniors and therapy patients, as well as for people who just want to get wet and have fun. First impressions are vital, so when taking that closer look, try to see the facility as a guest walking through the main entrance for the first time. Do ugly fencing and a lack of shade, deck chairs or other resting spots detract from the experience? Do dingy changing areas and locker rooms encourage swimmers to wear their suits to the facility in an effort to avoid those areas? Identify potential reasons for attendance declines and use them as a foundation upon which to develop your pool audit. Once the need for change has been established, seek out staff members, facility users and residents of the community at large for their valuable input. Employees will draw from firsthand experience with operational problems, pool users will provide insight into what elements of the facility are not meeting their needs, and local residents who don’t patronize the facility will offer reasons why they don’t. Don’t be afraid to use questionnaires and form discussion committees. If you demonstrate to all parties involved that you are serious about making improvements, they will be more likely to champion the cause. Next, ask community members to rally public support for a professional pool evaluation. Many users, for example, may not realize that a facility is on the brink of closing due to declining revenues or understand the programming and financial goals that could be realized with a renovated or new facility. That’s why it is crucial to honestly report the pool’s specific shortcomings, share how an evaluation would result in a better facility, and help people envision how its revitalization would improve the community’s collective wellness and quality of life. This can be done through newsletters, public forums, local media outlets and word of mouth among a core group of longtime supporters.

aquatics expert — will evaluate the condition of the existing pool (including pool finishes, deck areas, gutter and filtration systems, pool water heating equipment, chemical feed and control systems, and piping and recirculation systems) and identify design or equipment liabilities. For example, badly cracked guardrails on diving platforms are an immediate red flag, as are the absence of safety barriers near wading pools and deep-water pools. Meanwhile, old pumps may be less than energy efficient and could be preventing the filtration system from operating within state code requirements. The lack of proper storage and separation of pool chemicals could invite a chemical spill disaster. In some cases, a facility audit will reveal that the mechanicals and pool shell still have a lot of life left, meaning that a facility facelift that jazzes up the aesthetics may be all that’s needed. Shade structures, enhanced signage, painted murals, new deck furniture and additional landscaping can highlight a costconscious revitalization plan.

Despite countless surveys that indicate swimming is one of the all-time favorite recreation activities, attendance at many older public pools continues to decline.
Team members will also make determinations about the facility’s ability to meet ADA requirements, state health standards, traffic flow codes and general safety regulations. The consultant’s final report should detail the existing condition of the pool and its equipment and amenities — including life expectancies and recommended short-term and long-term repairs or replacements, along with cost estimates. Given the broad scope of pool audits — from a basic pool and equipment evaluation to a full facility audit that includes financial, market and programming feasibility studies and a master plan — professional services can range from $2,500 to more than $60,000. Be sure to request from each potential consultant a detailed outline of the proposed services and cost breakdowns. This will allow the consulting team to assemble the most qualified group of individuals to provide solutions to the issues you and your community groups have identified. Also request references from completed projects and call those contacts to ensure they were pleased with the services they received from the consulting team being considered. After the facility has been inventoried, a variety of options will likely emerge, including renovation of the existing pool, an

Where to Turn?
Once the consensus for an evaluation is reached, it’s time to involve a professional aquatics consultant. This can be done through a request for proposal (RFP), which outlines specific facility needs. Would you like a detailed structural and mechanical evaluation that estimates the life expectancies of existing equipment and provides replacement recommendations in the pool areas only? Is it necessary to evaluate the entire site to ensure that it meets ADA requirements, parking and lighting guidelines, and building codes? What about the facility’s surrounding elements? Would reconfiguring the entire site plan be beneficial? Would you like an evaluation of the current aquatic programs and a list of potential programming improvements? A consulting team — which often consists of an architect, a financial consultant, an operations analyst, engineers and an

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addition to the facility, a total renovation and expansion, or a full demolition and replacement. Which option best fits the needs of your facility? The answer will depend on the pool’s physical condition and the goals — and budget — of your newly evolving aquatics program.

How Best to Create Change?
Pool operators must evaluate the cost of suggested improvements and the anticipated life span of an existing facility compared to replacement costs and increased commercial value of a new facility. A team of feasibility and design consultants can make suggestions and project market trends, attendance and revenue for both a new and a renovated facility, but the ultimate decision rests with the pool operator.

Successful aquatic centers offer amenities and programming for families, learn-toswim participants, competitive swimmers, seniors and people who just want to get wet and have fun.
The pools of yesteryear cannot satisfy the majority of today’s swimmers, simply because they were not designed for broad, contemporary user demographics. Improvements — mechanical, operational and programmatic — can revitalize an old pool into a robust aquatic center that will improve the quality of life for its staff, patrons and municipal stakeholders. It will ensure a healthy and vital aquatic recreation environment for future generations of swimmers who have yet to stride through your facility’s main entrance for the first time.

What’s Next?
A professional, comprehensive pool evaluation will help determine the life expectancy of an existing aquatic facility, as well as inventory a community’s future wants and needs.


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Pool Leak Troubleshooting It is best to conduct tests over a constant time period and, if possible, when the pool is not in service. Ensure pool filters are not backwashed during the test sequence. 1. Does the pool leak test? • Turn off automatic water fill device. • Fill 5-gallon bucket with pool water about 90 percent full and mark level. Place bucket close to pool. • Mark level on pool wall. • Test for 24 hours. Measure pool and bucket water levels. • If pool loses more water than bucket, there is a good chance pool has a leak. 2. Is the pool leaking through the structure or the inlet plumbing? • Turn off automatic fill device. • Mark pool water level. • Record water level after 24 hours. • Fill pool to same level and turn off all circulation equipment. • Record water level after 24 hours. • If recorded level is the same in both cases, the water loss may be a pool shell leak. If the pool water loss is greater when the circulation system is operational, the water loss could be an inlet pipe leak. If the water loss is greater when the circulation pump is off, and there is typically air in the system, this is a good indicator that there could be a suction pipe leak. Operational Safety Audit 1. Review incident report or insurance claim report to determine frequency of issues that have occurred during the past five years. 2. Evaluate if there are recurring claims or issues. If there are several recurring issues or claims, then it would be advisable to determine why these are occurring. Analyze if the problem is operational or facility-related. An example would be: if users are constantly requiring Band-Aids after riding the slide, then it is facility-related. If the reports show there are numerous people collisions in the diving well when it is used, this is most likely operational in nature. The attached audit form will help operators perform a preliminary audit to assist in determining if they have a potential liability, and whether they should contact a consultant for assistance. Service Life and Market Obsolescence Evaluation The following are good indicators that your community should consider a facility audit and masterplanning effort. There are numerous ways to phrase these questions, and the facility should use these as a base in developing more specific questions pertinent to the community and facilities. Service-Life-Related Questions 1. Does your facility require extensive repair work to open each year? 2. Is the repair expense annually exceeding the revenue? 3. Does the staff respond to user injuries due to repairable conditions at the facility? 4. Is there a concern that the facility will open or remain open each year? 5. Are there recurring incidence reports due to damaged conditions at the facility? If the answer is yes to three or more of these questions, the facility may be at the end of its useful service life. If the answer is no to three or more of the questions, then the facility can be revitalized to serve the community based on the answers to the market obsolescence questions. Market ObsolescenceRelated Questions 1. Do many of your community members drive to a newer leisure pool instead of your community’s aquatic facility? 2. Has your aquatic facility attendance been decreasing during the past five years, even during hot summers? 3. Are most user visits to the pool less than two hours in length? 4. Is your outdoor aquatic facility cost recovery rate below 60 percent? 5. Do most parents drop off their children at your aquatic facility instead of joining them? 6. Do younger users complain that there is nothing to do at the pool? If the answer is yes to three or more of these questions, the facility may be at the end of its useful market life. If the answer is no to three or more of the questions, then the facility can be revitalized to serve the community based on the answers to the service-life questions. Additional Survey Questionnaires • Accessibility and ADA Compliance • Guest Satisfaction and Comment • Facility Technical Audit • Chemical Safety Evaluation

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Aquatics in Motion

Striving for Safety, Reliability and Fun in Waterparks
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Eighty million Americans will visit a waterpark this summer, and there are more than 1,000 to choose from in the United States alone. Limited only by the boundary of creativity, waterpark design is an ongoing adventure that provides a multitude of options not only for new developments but also for those already in existence. Although waterpark design is ever-changing, the goals of Water Technology, Inc. remain the same ... safety, reliability and fun. What might you find in waterparks today? Waterparks offer an endless variety of attractions targeting people of all interests and ages. For the thrill-seeker, adrenaline will soar on the ever-popular plunge slides, totaldarkness body slides, speed and tube slides and giant water roller coasters. For the more leisurely paced, or those interested in group-oriented activities, adults and children alike can enjoy wave pools, multi-person raft rides, lazy rivers, water playgrounds with zero-depth entry and many interactive water activities. The blend of these attractions, along with proper circulation patterns, pool designs, signage, and landscaping and support services such as concessions, offers guests a destination they want to spend time at and return to. Water Technology is in tune with the logistics of waterparks and what enhances the guest experience. Not only do we consider the many safety and technical issues, but we also make every effort to determine what people find fun. We must discover what makes them laugh, what piques their curiosity, what maintains their interest and what makes them come back for more. Fun, after all, is the very fiber of the waterpark adventure.



The Boardwalk at Hersheypark
What was once a simple amusement park, opened by Milton S. Hershey for his chocolate factory employees, is now the world-renowned “Sweetest Place on Earth.” There was no better way to celebrate its 100th year of operation than with the opening of the Boardwalk, the largest attraction added to the park yet. The Boardwalk is designed to pay tribute to the spectacular beaches of Atlantic City, Ocean City, Coney Island and Rehoboth Beach in the Northeast. The seven-story high East Coast Waterworks waterplay structure can boast being the largest in the world. Water Technology Inc.’s talented design-

Hershey, Pennsylvania
ers and engineers blended the structure’s slides, crawl tunnels, hundreds of interactive toys and thousands of gallons of water to make East Coast Waterworks the perfect attraction: a onestop place for an amusement park and a Northeast beach. It truly carries on the kid-friendly, family-oriented atmosphere. After the addition of the Boardwalk, attendance hit an all-time high of 2.7 million in one year.


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WhiteWater World

Queensland, Australia
an action-packed and carefree day when visiting WhiteWater World. It seems the word has gotten out, as the latest results show continuing strong financial results. As the park reaches its one-year mark, it is performing ahead of expectations.

WhiteWater World is a mecca for water enthusiasts, located next to Dreamworld on the Gold Coast. With attractions ranging from family-friendly waterslides to the most extreme water rides, it is sure to please. Children have a blast with the minislides, interactive sprays and colorful water cannons, while thrill seekers can race to glory on rides of Olympic proportions. The use of cutting-edge technology and extensively trained personnel make the waterpark one of the safest of its kind. Shade structures made of material that absorbs minimal heat from the sun have been installed in all resting areas, queue lines, food outlets and walkways. If that’s not enough, the proactive approach to environmental sustainability with water conservation initiatives, using the latest environmentally friendly technology available, not only makes WhiteWater World one of the most fun waterparks, but also one of the most efficient. Guests don’t experience just another generic tropical theme at WhiteWater World, but rather an authentic Australian theme. It has been termed mini-Australia, which may not be too far off. The park pays tribute to the beauty of Australia. With the numerous slides, lazy river, wave pool and interactive play structures, guests of all ages and thrill levels should expect

Cedar Point’s Soak City Waterpark
Soak City is a massive 18-acre water park located between the towering roller coasters of Cedar Point Amusement Park/Resort and Lake Erie. The watery paradise features wet and wild fun for the entire family. The little ones can play the day away in two areas they

Sandusky, Ohio

can call their own, Tadpole Town and Choo-Choo Lagoon. More adventurous guests can fill their need for speed on more than a dozen body and inner tube waterslides, or surf the day away in an enormous 500,000-gallon wave pool. For those who need a break from the action, two lazy rivers, shaded picnic areas, a swim-up refreshment center and a beach offer the perfect getaway for relaxation. Completed in 2004, the multi-story interactive play area offers more than 100 different wet and wild water gadgets that spray, squirt and drench guests. Race-y waterslides, speedy chutes, spewing geysers, activity pools and many other cascading aqua elements entertain and amuse water enthusiasts of all ages. The centerpiece attraction of this colorful aqua oasis is a gigantic bucket that pours 1,000 gallons of water on guests below every 10 minutes. Located 48 feet above the entire Splash Zone area, this tipping bucket is the perfect refresher for those looking for the ultimate watery cooldown.

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Photo courtesy of Owner, Dreamworld



by Jennifer Beranek

Reprinted with permission of the World Waterpark Association from the May 2008 issue of World Waterpark Magazine. Visit to learn more about the WWA and its publications.

The adage, “Everything is bigger in ® Texas” rings true for Great Wolf Lodge . Grapevine, Texas, home to the newest Great Wolf Lodge, boasts the tallest — eight stories tall — and soon to be the largest — 605-suite — resort — for par® ent company Great Wolf Resorts, Inc . To further enhance the Great Wolf Lodge experience, the company monitors trends and uses guest feedback. The new resort in Grapevine is a result of valuable feedback received over the past 10 years to implement the most innovative concepts and amenities in the industry. “Above all, we’re proud of our status as the number one developer and operator of indoor waterpark destination family resorts in the country,” said John Emery, chief executive officer for the company. “By debuting cutting-edge attractions and entertainment amenities with each new build, we’re able to stay at the forefront of the industry, giving guests a reason to visit time and time again.”
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Waterpark Nirvana
As is only fitting, waterpark enhancements at the new resort take top honors. Designed by Water Technology, Inc. and encompassing 80,000 square feet, “Bear Track Landing™” indoor waterpark features seven pools constructed by Neuman Pools and 11 waterslides supplied by ProSlide Technology. Provided by SCS Interactive is the signature tipping-bucket attraction situated atop the treehouse waterfort, “Fort Mackenzie™.” Guests looking to enjoy the sunshine seasonally are able to splash in the outdoor waterpark, 84,000square-foot “Raccoon Lagoon™,” which is the largest outdoor facility in the company’s portfolio. Featured are two slides, two pools and fully appointed cabanas with pool-side service. Safety is the number one priority at Great Wolf Lodge, which is why the waterpark is reserved exclusively for registered guests. This also eliminates the long lines

and crowded atmosphere found at other waterparks. Capacity is maintained at a comfortable level, allowing for personalized attention by more than 100 lifeguards, all nationally certified by Ellis & Associates, the world-leading aquatic safety training company. Great Wolf Lodge provides state-of-the-art technology, especially in its waterpark. Neptune Benson Defender filters are used, which consume about 80-90 percent less water than traditional swimming pool sand filters. The waterpark is designed to re-circulate water and the humidity and temperature are mechanically controlled; therefore, daily water demand is relatively small.

Texas-Sized Amenities
Great Wolf Lodge prides itself on the memorable experience it provides its guests. During check-in, guests are greeted by resort staff dressed in “Wolf Wear” designed by Oobe and given state-of-theart radio frequency identification (RFID)


• MagiQuest has been a mega hit with children. Through an exclusive partnership with game developer Creative Kingdoms, LLC, Great Wolf Lodge brings the first live action game of its kind to the resort industry. Players become “Magi” in this interactive fantasy adventure game, leading to the ultimate thrill of defeating the dragon. A high-tech wand keeps track of powers and points, which can be used during a return visit. For families who really want to get in the spirit, there are costumes, wand toppers and adornments. • Great Wolf Lodge has created a new twist on the traditional spa experience. Designed for the 12-and-under set, Scooops Kid Spa mirrors a national trend of increasing numbers of teens and now “tweens” enjoying spa indulgences. Using ME! Baths exclusive ice cream-themed products, the “menu” of services features manicures and pedicures, along with an offering of facials and make-up touchups. The services are cleverly themed to match a child’s personality. There is the Peaches and Cream pedicure for kids who like to daydream, the Caramel Apple manicure for those who jus want to have fun, and the Coconut Cream Pie nail treatment for those who are adventurous, among others. Scooops Kid Spa complements the company’s existing line-up of Elements™ Spa facilities for the grown-ups in the group. Spa-goers are treated to aromatic, all-natural Aveda® compositions in the massages, facials and nail treatments.

wristbands, supplied by Precision Dynamics Corporation. The wristbands not only serve as room keys, but also function like a credit card, enabling guests to roam the resort without extra items in tow. Three of the newest amenities, Scooops Kid Spa, gr8_space™ and MagiQuest™, have been well received by guests.

• Especially designed for teen guests, gr8_space provides a haven with karaoke, staging, mp3 player access and musical entertainment. Internet stations allow teens to stay connected with their friends while away from home. A tech jockey oversees gr8_space and acts as the concierge.

Bear Track Landing (indoor waterpark); Raccoon Lagoon (outdoor waterpark) Great Wolf Lodge: 100 Great Wolf Drive • Grapevine, TX 76051 Web site: Owners: Great Wolf Resorts, Inc. Admission prices: Visit for the best rates and specials Dates open: Year round Size/Acres: 402 all-suite resort; 52-acre site Capacity: 3,900 guests Clientele (local vs. tourist): Both; mostly tourists Future expansion plans: Phase two expansion underway to add 203 suites and nearly 20,000 square feet of meeting space. Expected completion: December 2008. Unique park programs: MagiQuest, which is the first live-action game of its kind in the resort industry through an exclusive partnership with game developer Creative Kingdoms, LLC. Cub Club, the children’s craft and activity room with focus on edutainment. Staff retention programs or in-service programs: 100 percent custom programs

Learning Disguised as Fun
Cub Club™, the children’s craft and activity room, recently introduced a new form of programming — edutainment. These one-hour programs offer families a variety of projects and activities to explore, including analyzing the sound of a chirping robin, viewing an X-ray of a backyard beetle or exploring the skill and safety it takes to be a lifeguard. The majority of activities within these programs are designed for children and parents to learn and have fun
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together. The following are five of the new edutainment programs. Jr. Lifeguard: Children can experience the fun of water safety and learn the importance of lifeguard responsibility. From dressing like a lifeguard, practicing real lifeguard skills, learning how to respond in an emergency, coloring a personal Great Wolf Lodge visor and earning a Jr. Lifeguard certificate, children can explore a day in the life of a Great Wolf Lodge lifeguard. Tiny Timbers: Children can learn the types, colors, parts, products and fruits of trees. Tree seedlings will be adopted from the Great Wolf Lodge Nursery, where children can choose, plant and prepare his or her very own tree to take home and nurture. Backyard Birdies: The Cub Club Cabin showcases various bird sightings, sounds and patterns. Children can design a lodge-themed birdhouse for their own backyards. Bouncin’ with the Bullfrogs: The amphibious life of Jeremy the Frog and his terrestrial habitat is explored. Children can meet a live frog, build a terrarium, enjoy fly-catching games, see real skeletons and view X-rays. Bugs on a Rug: Viewing insects from the inside out, seeing through a bug’s eye,

and making a puzzle give children a new perspective on bugs. After a full day of play inside the waterpark, parents especially appreciate the nightly animated Great Clock Tower performance and story time to give their children a chance to wind down. This is also the perfect time for a photo opportunity with Great Wolf Lodge mascots Wiley the Wolf and Biko the Bear.

Dining for Kids and Kids at Heart
From international medal-winning chili corn chowder to steaks and seafood, Great Wolf Lodge has a menu to suit a myriad of tastes. Chef Pat and Chef Andre have introduced a new twist on the macaroni and cheese. They also have created a top-secret recipe for chef-crafted pickles that come with the sandwich-

Business Trip That Does Double Duty
From business suit to bathing suit, families and business clientele can rest assured of the meeting offerings at Great Wolf Lodge. The on-site banquet team ensures everything from business retreats and family reunions to wedding receptions and birthday parties — and everything in between — is flawless from start to finish. Audio and visual systems and complimentary high-speed wireless Internet access provide guests with technology and convenience.

The new conference facility will give parents traveling on business the opportunity to mix business with pleasure, making it all possible in a day’s play at Great Wolf Lodge. Each Great Wolf Lodge has its signature howl; “H-O-W-L y’all” puts a unique spin of a northwoods -themed resort “Deep in the Heart of Texas.”

Location, Location, Location
Great Wolf Lodge is located at 100 Great Wolf Drive, one mile west of Grapevine Mills Mall and directly across from the Gaylord Texan Resort. For more information or to make a reservation, call toll-free 1.800.693.WOLF (9653), or visit online at
Jennifer Beranek is public relations manager for Great Wolf Resorts, Inc., Madison, Wisconsin.

Bigger Truly Is Better
es that are so craveable there are talks about producing them for retail sale. The kids’ fun continues with make-yourown peanut butter and jelly cutout sandwiches, made-to-order chocolate moose tacos, a decorate-your-own cupcake bar, a mix and match macaroni and cheese and pasta station and a kid’s version of the salad bar. Healthy menu items are woven into the offerings cleverly disguised as irresistible so that everyone can indulge. For example, the fruit salad has special syrup made with lemongrass and ginseng. Camp Critter Bar & Grille™ features allAmerican family dining celebrating local regional foods like chef crafted duck tamales with Chef Andre’s mole sauce. Working with Avendra, the resort offers an array of dining options that include two themed family restaurants, Camp Critter Bar & Grille and The Loose Moose Cottage™; a confectionary café, Bear Claw Café™; and those all-American family favorites such as Pizza Hut ® ® Express and a Starbucks coffee shop. There is also a snack bar at the resort’s indoor waterpark, Spirit Island™ Snack Shop and Grizzly Rob’s™ Waterpark Bar, where guests can take time out from the splashy fun for a quick bite. Great Wolf Lodge is currently undergoing a phase two expansion that will add 203 suites and nearly triple the size of the existing conference space. The expansion is expected to be complete in December 2008 and will make Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine the largest resort in the Great Wolf Lodge chain with 605 suites total. Once complete, Great Wolf Lodge will offer 27,000 square feet of meeting space, ideal for the business and social needs of the community for groups of 10750. The final conference center space is expected to feature a 7,500-squarefoot Grand Ballroom; six breakout and meeting rooms; two board rooms; more than 4,000 square feet of pre-function space, plus six outdoor event areas; a dedicated banquet team on-site to cater to requests; audio and visual systems; and complimentary high-speed wireless Internet access. In conjunction with the additional meeting space, the resort’s expansion will include new King Business Suites that will accommodate up to four people and will consist of a king bed, desk and semi-private living area with a sofa sleeper. Upgraded business amenities will include luxury bedding and towels and a 32-inch plasma screen TV.

Great Wolf Lodge Resorts
Foxwoods, Connecticut In Design Mall of America, Minnesota In Design Concord, North Carolina In Construction, Expected Completion 2009 Grand Mound, Washington Completed 2008 Grapevine, Texas Completed 2007 King’s Island, Mason, Ohio Completed 2006 Niagara Falls, Canada Completed 2006 Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania Completed 2005 Williamsburg, Virgina Completed 2005 Kansas City, Kansas Completed 2003 Traverse City, Michigan Completed 2002 Sandusky, Ohio Completed 2001 Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin Completed 1997


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Photo courtesy of SCS Interactive


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Resort Hotels as Family Entertainment
by Donald J. Weber, AIA Reprinted with permission of the World Waterparks Association from the 2008 Water Leisure & Lodging magazine. Visit to learn more about the WWA and its publications.

Waterparks resorts can use brand stories to increase hotel stays, food revenues, shopping opportunities and overall guest satisfaction.
How do we create the entertainment value in the waterpark resort industry that is present in theme parks? The brand value and brand experience a property brings to the customer turn time and space into place and occasion. Brand value is the value of the emotional response customers have to a product. Brands tell the story. The emotional response customers have relates to them on a personal level, turning the time and space in which they visit into a special place and a special occasion. The opportunity to connect personally and more fully increases customers’ satisfaction of their experience and makes MEMORIES! Satisfied customers in a resort hotel setting may increase their length of stay and thus increase revenue opportunities for the property. Creating great memories brings customers back. Theme parks are one of the nation’s leading industries in per visitor spending. Opportunities for brand value and application greet visitors at every turn. Often a main street opens to numerous shops, restaurants, games, and other unique spending environments each with a character and feel reinforcing the park’s brand experience, such as Disney’s Main Street, U.S.A. Waterparks resorts and hotels can take a lesson from how theme parks make their money though it may challenge the typical hospitality space planning program. A closer look reveals how using this approach can increase hotel stays, food revenues, shopping opportunities and the guest’s overall satisfaction! everyday, an emotional separateness of being away from work or school, away from obligations, responsibilities, and even in a short-stay, on vacation. Brands who are successful in their application find that customers value the experience as much or more than the product, meaning they may spend more. There is a feel and experience to visiting a coffee shop like Starbucks. The coffee is good but not necessarily better than what is found at other places. The employees are distinctive in their green aprons, personal style and manner of

Creating the Brand
Customers appreciate brands because they offer an extra value, one that extends beyond the product itself. The brand value becomes the motivation to use or buy the product. Introducing an application of brand into a waterpark resort, for example, creates separation from the

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Photo courtesy of SCS Interactive


speaking. The walls are covered in soothing tones; there are interesting things to look at and music to hear. The employees smile while customers order a ridiculously long-sounding cup of double-tall, soymilk, non-fat, half-caff coffee. It isn’t about the $3.50 cup of coffee; it is about the experience of going into Starbucks — the way the place looks, the way it feels and the way the customer feels when they are there. The Starbucks brand relates to you on a personal and emotional level. In fact, the brand is now about not only coffee but also being in a place where you can buy new music that is cool, and even buy gadgets and gear for making coffee and turning your home into the shared experience you have in the store. For the company, there is a monetary reward for this brand value buy-in from its customers. It is the opportunity to not only sell coffee at a higher price on a regular basis but also coffee gear, music and other things to complement the coffee experience.

Telling the Brand Story
Creating a brand and a brand story for your company can be real or imagined but it must create, as Aldo van Eck said, place and occasion with history and characters. Customers naturally expect businesses to respond to their needs but introducing a brand story creates many more opportunities to be unique in the market. For example, let’s say we are developing a hotel in a part of the country where many Revolutionary battles took place. Our hotel could take the form of The Great American Adventure Resort Hotel, showing how the sacrifice and bravery of early leaders like George Washington produced the greatest nation in the world, the United States. The brand story might place a Colonial Williamsburgstyle village and historic flags from the past on the path to greet visitors as they approach. A multilevel balconied lobby

provides differentiated places for customers to eat, shop and relax. Everywhere the customer looks they discover a place or time that tells the story of “The Great American Adventure.” Let’s think about what this would feel like for the guest. A giant map of the U.S. overlaid on the lobby floor is covered with hundreds of all-American images, which might be what greets us when we come in. Children can seek and find places large and small on the map, to investigate and learn more about the country, perhaps in the form of a scavenger hunt where prizes are awarded for their discoveries. A spectacular three dimensional floor-to-ceiling wall mural covers the entire back wall of the lobby with images from sea to shining sea. This interactive collage gathers great American adventure images, from the Brooklyn Bridge and Statue of Liberty through the heartland and the south to the American Rocky Mountains and finally


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Photo courtesy of CoCo Key Resort

California’s giant Sequoias and the Golden Gate Bridge. Each night different locations in the U.S. are highlighted through an audio/visual show telling the stories of places large and small, bringing families together in the central retail/restaurant core of the facility. Restaurants are themed to represent dining styles such as New York bagels in the morning, southern-style barbecue for lunch and Italian-American pasta and pizza for dinner. Menus change to reflect the tastes of the Great American experience. A night club themed for Chicago Blues would be a place for adults to unwind and shopping themed for America’s heartland provides unique opportunities for adventure. An indoor waterpark or dry play area can be made to carry out the brand story through characters and attractions that bring the American experience to life. At the “Roaring Gorge Water Park” customers would find mountain guides who greet them for navigating white water rapids, glacier slides and bubbling pools. Even the guest rooms help tell the story, each named for an American adventure experience, fun facts, décor and information in each room tell the tale to its guests. We add this brand story to our more traditional architectural space program and together, they become a program from which we design. The result is the three dimensional “telling of the story.”

back to the main storyline. Knowledgable space planning in a branded facility can promote repeated walk-by opportunities and introduce the element of surprise for the customer. The idea of “Yes, I’ll splurge for that, I’m on vacation” can be a powerful way to drive revenue. Increasing the length of a customer’s stay is an additional way to drive revenue. Locating a facility near other regional or area attractions with more to do outside the hotel brings visitors back for the extra night stay. Once they are back inside the resort, the opportunities for activity and spending through themed execution and the “story” of the hotel create the sense that there is more to do than they first assumed. The idea of “Oh, we haven’t been there yet.” Using our Great American Resort Hotel as an example, this could be as simple as themed eateries being branded as the “Mountain Man Breakfast Hall” for the morning and a Southern fine dining experience at night in “Anna Belles.” This can all be accomplished in one single area, planned and themed as different experiences. The morning might be focused with a character visit or other special food item, while at dinner, customers enjoy a themed bev-

erage on the “front porch” while they wait in cozy rocking chairs or porch swings. Special events can also be timed to create opportunities for additional dining and purchasing, the idea of a fourth meal or special snack during an evening show or parade further brings the brand to life, increases per-cap spending, and possibly even length of stay. Families are hungry for fun ways to spend time together. Activities that people of all ages can enjoy together bring the convenience of one-stop shopping and not having to get back in the car to drive from place to place. Bringing a range of activities to life in ne facility to make memories and connect families is a powerful way to drive the revenue engine and create repeat business.
Donald J. Weber, AIA, is an architect and vice president of the Weber Group, Inc., a designbuild company specializing in hotel, theme park, waterpark, zoo, museum, and holiday event design, construction and themeing. For more than 20 years, they have brought a variety of brands to life for a wide variety of clients including Great Wolf Lodge, Six Flags and Paramount Parks throughout the U.S., MercedesBenz and the Columbus and Louisville Zoos.

Bet Your Bottom Dollar
Family entertainment hotels add to perhead spending opportunities and produce greater revenue and return on investment. We learn from the theme park business per head sales and length-ofstay are what drives additional revenues. Creating more and diverse opportunities to spend increases customer spending. Branded environments introduce a high platform of excitement and they are synergistic, making a property seem bigger than the sum of its parts. This idea supports spontaneous spending. It also provides opportunities to cross brand within a facility or to introduce the brand into food and merchandise areas that tie

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Photo courtesy of CoCo Key Resort


Setting Records in Competitive Pool Design
Competitive swimming is about time. Time, in its smallest and simplest increments, is measured in fractions of a second, defining world records and personal achievement. With this in mind, how does a facility earn a reputation as a “fast” pool? What elements can designers and meet organizers control that can contribute to the athletes quest in reducing those seconds? Whether you are planning for a major event such as the U.S. Swimming Trials or your next age group competition, there are a few basics, such as water depth, sightlines and turbulence reduction, that provide results “time and time again.”

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Water Depth
For competition, deeper is better. Swimmers create a pressure wave as they move through the water, caused by both their actions and their displacement. Years ago, the starts and turns were shallow, rarely deeper than three feet. The operating theory was that the stroke was where the speed was. Today, the starts are deeper, the turns have 15 meters of allowable underwater dolphin kicking, and these competitive evolutions have the swimmers nearer to a four-foot depth. The resultant pressure wave created by the swimmer is also deeper, creating reflected resistance or bounce-back to the swimmer. Deeper water limits these reflections, as the pressure travels in waves, dispersing its energy as it travels further.

Clear Sight Lines
The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. This simple axiom is especially important in a competition, where tenths of a second can separate eight places in the standings. Swimming a “circle” in the lane instead of down the center can add as much as three meters in a 200meter event. Systems that optimize water clarity for pool-bottom striping, providing visual cues on ceilings (for backstrokers) and clear white lighting provide the visual assistance needed.

Turbulence Reduction
Swimming in open water such as a lake is very different from swimming in a pool; During an eight-day span, nine world, 21 American, 19 U.S. Open and 45 meet records were set in the 2008 Olympic Trials competition pool. World Records Set Michael Phelps, 400m IM Katie Hoff, 400m IM Hayley McGregory, 100m Back (p) Natalie Coughlin, 100m Back (p) Natalie Coughlin, 100m Back Aaron Peirsol, 100m Back Aaron Peirsol, 200m Back (F) Michael Phelps, 200m IM (F) Margaret Hoelzer, 200m Back (F)

the wave action makes swimming more difficult. Even the small disturbances caused by the swimmer himself causes additional resistance, which can add fatigue, lessening the energy for propulsion. Large-diameter lane dividers with energy-dissipating rings quell the wave energy created by the swimmer while preventing these waves from spreading to the adjacent lanes. Design of the perimeter gutter system is also critical, as removal of the start and turn surges and swim turbulence requires careful analysis of gutter profiles, capacities and flow characteristics to eliminate the potential for flooding and rebound. Additional care must be exercised when you reintroduce filtered water back into the pool. Inlets must be located and spaced to provide an even distribution of clean filtered water throughout the pool, in an adequate quantity to maintain water clarity, all while not creating turbulence. In the design of the U.S. Swimming trial pools in Omaha, Water Technology, Inc. designed two independent filtration systems, providing perimeter distribution of the returns in a “high/low” pattern around the pool — one system being high distribution, the other low. While having the additional benefit of providing redundancy in filtration for this signature event, the design provides the pool with the ability to dial back the upper distribution system during events, reducing turbulence while optimizing filtration between the events. Superior filtration was mandatory to ensure the fastest pool possible. Lane widths are another factor in turbulence reduction, allowing the wake created by the swimmer to spread farther before meeting the lane

dividers, letting some of the energy disperse while allowing the swimmer to “pass” the rebound point of the wake. Widths of eight feet are common for pools with major-meet aspirations.

There are many other elements to consider in optimizing a facility for a large swim meet. Basics include warm-up lanes, swimmer and team notification, officials, timing and meet management areas. For age group meets, event staging areas, award distribution and concessions become factors. At larger and higher-profile meets, spectator views, camera locations and sight lines, press areas, massage areas, coaches meeting rooms, testing areas and logistic centers become requirements. This year’s U.S. Olympic Trials event in Omaha has set a new standard for swimming venues. With two 50m pools built inside an existing events center, it provides a glimpse of what is possible. The pools were designed utilizing the strategies outlined above, fabricated and then assembled in the Qwest Center in less than one month. The coordination of the design, the precision of the fabrication and the 14,000 screaming fans produced an event that saw some record set in virtually every event, including nine world records and 21 American records. The best indicator of the quality of the pools was expressed not only in the records set by a few, but also by the statements heard by swimmers from their coaches as they exited the pool: “Great swim, best time.”
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Georgia Southern University Recreational Activities Center
Statesboro, Georgia
On November 6, 2006, Georgia Southern University opened the Recreation Activity Center (RAC) expansion. The original RAC was introduced in 1998 with 80,000 square feet of indoor recreation space. The recent expansion included 135,000 square feet of indoor recreation space, in addition to multiple outdoor venues. In total, the award-winning RAC now boasts 215,000 square feet.
The aquatic portion of the center’s expansion includes a 10lane competition pool spanning more than 6,000 square feet, a diving well, a large indoor leisure pool, an indoor whirlpool, a 2,351-square-foot outdoor leisure pool and an outdoor whirlpool. The competition pool and diving well gives athletes, especially the swimming and diving teams, a more competitive edge, while the leisure area appeals to all types of users. Students have the opportunity to utilize the facility after a long day of classes or after a difficult exam. The facility gives students the chance to relax, unwind and socialize with their peers. Not only is the aquatic setting of this facility functional in meeting the needs of its users, from leisure to competitive swimming, but it also creates a warm and inviting resort-feeling atmosphere while serving as a showpiece as the entrance to the 215,000-square-foot facility. If the visual layout and functionality of this breathtaking facility isn’t enough, even more impressive is that no state funds were necessary to build this facility. The design and construction of the RAC was funded entirely by Georgia Southern students through a multi-year, self-imposed student activity fee. The aquatic setting of this facility is a dream come true for Georgia Southern University. It not only meets the needs of athletes, but also all other users.

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Boston, Massachusetts

Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Commu
The Definition
A Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center should consist of facilities and programs of superb quality that provide children, youth, families and individuals with character and confidencebuilding educational, recreational, arts and other activities; and it should be a beacon of hope and an agent of change in an underserved community.
Upon her death in 2003, Joan Kroc, the widow of McDonald’s restaurants founder Ray Kroc, bequeathed $1.6 billion to the Salvation Army solely for the purpose of establishing centers of opportunity, education, recreation and inspiration throughout the United States to be known as “The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center.”

Salem, Oregon

Quincy, Illinois


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Phoenix, Arizona

nity Centers

Grand Rapids, Michigan

According to the trust, a Kroc Center is to be highly visible and easily accessible, to be within reach of various economic groups with particular outreach to underserved families, to provide high-quality service within world-class facilities, and to include programs involving education, fitness, arts and worship. These centers are to be owned and operated by the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center provides opportunities that facilitate positive, lifechanging experiences through: arts, athletics, personal development, spiritual discovery and community service.

These renderings represent the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Centers across the country that our firm is honored to be involved with through aquatic planning and design.

Staten Island, New York

Honolulu, Hawaii

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Water Technology, Inc. offers expert consulting and design services for wellness, therapy and adaptive resource pools. Our staff works with physical and aquatic therapists to design each pool to the needs of the particular institution. We know from firsthand experience the importance of floor slopes on pool decks, number of and means of access, water depths, width of entrance ramps, utilization of handrails, pool chairs, non-slip floor surfaces, bather preparation room requirements for physically challenged patrons, and natatorium design to resist damage from chemical-laden air. Our firm has helped to program and design wellness, multi- and adaptive-use and therapy pools into new and existing schools, community centers, senior centers, wellness centers and hospitals. These facilities have focused on the recreation, fitness and rehabilitation specifically to meet the needs of people with physical disabilities.

Benefits of Aquatic Versus Land Exercise
• Buoyancy gives the disabled or overweight more freedom • Multidimensional movement is easy • The viscosity of water adds graded resistance • Immersion is usually pleasurable • Relaxation is nearly automatic • Water has its own healing properties

Accessibility plays a large part in the design of all of our aquatic centers. There are specific issues to be addressed in the design of ADA-compliant pools. We make exerted efforts to remain up to date on current and pending regulations as well as accessibility technology.

Over and Above ADA
• Staff members trained to assist those with special needs • Varying water temperatures for different populations • Adapted aquatic classes for patrons of all ages and abilities • Dedicated space at specified times for special needs patrons • Designated unisex dressing space for those who come with oppositegender caretakers or who require additional space • Ideas/suggestions box for patrons

Benefits of Immersion
• • • • • • • Usually lowers blood pressure Reduces stress hormones Strengthens the muscles of respiration Enhances cardiovascular efficiency Improves kidney function Increases muscle blood circulation Offloads joints, and probably increases circulation to them

Information courtesy of Dr. Bruce Becker, MD, Washington State University. Taken from the article “Healing Waters” in the June 2007 issue of Aquatics International.
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Douglas H. Buck Community Recreation Center
Littleton, Colorado
Back in 1959, citizens of Littleton and southern areas of the metro area voted to create the South Suburban Park and Recreation District, which now operates numerous parks and recreation facilities in Colorado. In March 2005, South Suburban celebrated the grand opening of the Douglas H. Buck Community Recreation Center, a 54,000-square-foot, $11.65 million facility in downtown Littleton. Since the new facility replaced the old Senior Center, “We were very sympathetic to the needs of seniors,” Duane Crawmer of Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture said. The facility, however, goes beyond meeting the needs of seniors. It appeals to a younger generation, encouraging wellness with the use of recreational components, making it fun. Within the new, award-winning facility, the natatorium includes a leisure pool with current channel and zero-depth entry, a three-lane lap pool, and a therapy pool with a handicap ramp and lift. Outdoors, the patio includes a whirlpool and an area designated for sunning. The outdoor component brings well-

ness in itself, allowing users to get outdoors and experience the healthy air of Colorado. Perhaps one of the most popular areas in the facility, the natatorium design captures elements to meet the needs of all community members, making every visit enjoyable. It is truly a facility that accommodates all ages, whether it be an aging adult utilizing the therapy pool or children taking advantage of the interactive water features. The Douglas H. Buck Community Recreation Center is the future of Littleton, instilling wellness and healthy lifestyles.

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Creekview Aquatic Center in Evergreen Retirement Community Oshkosh, Wisconsin
The Creekview Aquatic Center, located in the Evergreen Retirement Community, houses two pools in order to meet various therapeutic and exercise needs of active, retired adults. The Prescott Family Pool, which is treated with the newest cutting-edge ultraviolet technology, is a therapeutic, warm-water therapy pool, which allows for more gentle exercise. The underwater bench with massaging water jets serves as a relaxer or muscle stimulant, depending on the need. The two-lane, walking access ramp allows for easier access into the pool. The John J. & Ethyl D. Keller Pool is a three-lane temperaturecontrolled exercise pool used not only for lap swimming but also for water aerobic classes such as “Light ’n Lively” and “Aquatic Exercise.” The shallow entry steps allow for easy entrance into the pool. For those unable to enter the pool using the ramp or stairs, a handicap chair lift is located between the two pools. Additionally, unique individual unisex changing rooms offer the privacy of a complete bath with no-step showers and adequate space for assistance. The physical therapist on staff is a specialist in aquatic therapy, safely and effectively using water’s unique physical and healing properties for therapy, rehabilitation and wellness. The facility, which was awarded Best Design for Aging by the American Institute of Architects in 2006, offers active retired adults the opportunity to come together and socialize while maintaining their health in a safe and enjoyable environment.


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Across the nation, aquatic facilities have been changing. The addition of leisure pools and leisure components to facility programs has been on the increase. It was only a natural extension to this trend when leisure pools would began within the YMCA market.
YMCA/YWCAs have long recognized the value of swimming to their membership. With a rising demand for programs and activities, YMCA/YWCAs across the country are meeting that challenge by renovating their existing traditional facilities and creating new family-friendly environments that emphasize their goals. Demand for time at these facilities continues to grow, and the competition between interests has made it nearly impossible to meet these demands. Combining an aquatic leisure environment along with the traditional, educational, fitness and therapeutic amenities, YMCA/YWCAs have enjoyed increased attendance, revenues and member satisfaction. Understanding the right balance of form and function is important to the success of these facilities. Water Technology’s staff of planners and designers understands these demands and has helped YMCA/YWCAs plan and design facilities that will meet these needs for many years to come. Close to Home (Highlighted Project) With monies raised through a capital campaign, individual and corporate donations, the YMCA of Dodge County started a new chapter in its already rich history. The Beaver Dam YMCA’s roots date back as far as 1893, when it was a student organization at Wayland Academy. The Dodge County YMCA was founded in 1914 and became the Beaver Dam YMCA in 1939. In 2006, the Beaver Dam YMCA changed its name to the YMCA of Dodge County to more accurately represent the communities it serves. The YMCA offers a broad range of programs, but the heart and soul of its outreach is serving the needs of youth and families. As the history foretells, the YMCA has been an active force in the Beaver Dam area in providing children with meaningful experiences and positive values for more than 112 years. Through several community needs assessments and from strategic planning steps, the YMCA of Dodge County determined that a new YMCA could better serve the community in the following areas: • Expanded swimming • Improved physical fitness opportunities for adults, children and families • More childcare and preschool enrichment programs • Consolidated outdoor playing fields Water Technology, Inc., located in Beaver Dam, became involved with this project in the very early stages. Our hometown pride shone even brighter when a donation worth $1.7 million was made to the Beaver Dam YMCA by the Neuman family and the home-grown


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businesses they own. The Neuman families, Water Technology, Inc. and Neuman Pools, Inc. announced a contribution that provided for the complete design and construction services for the two pools that are included in the aquatic center at the new YMCA of Dodge County. The aquatic center includes an eightlane competitive swimming pool and a full family leisure pool with flume slide and vortex channel. Chuck Neuman, president of Water Technology, Inc., and Randy Neuman, president of Neuman Pools Inc., have been involved with similar YMCA projects across the United States that involve a combination of fitness, educational and leisure aquatic amenities.

“We have seen that these modern YMCA facilities create new family-friendly environments that enhance the quality of life in their communities,” Chuck said. The Neumans were born and raised in Beaver Dam. Chuck and Randy Neuman have been involved with the YMCA of Dodge County for a number of years, and Chuck is a volunteer Board member for the YMCA. “The Neuman family has always supported the YMCA, and this gift is an extension of their generosity over the years,” YMCA Executive Director Rob Johnson said. The YMCA of Dodge County serves more than 5,000 individuals each year throughout Dodge County. No one is turned away from participation in

YMCA programs with financial assistance available for families in need. YMCA of Dodge County Amenities Eight-lane, 25-yard competition pool Ramp entry Two 1-meter diving boards Depth: 3 feet, 6 inches to 12 feet 6,015-square-foot leisure pool Zero-depth entry Beaver kiddie slide 10 geysers Vortex Bell Trio Vortex Huddle Spray Vortex Water Trio 170-linear-foot lazy river Spray tunnel Vortex Donut Spray Underwater bench with hydrotherapy jets Two 75-meter lap lanes One enclosed inner tube slide Ultraviolet light (UV) treatment system

Controlling the Energy Monster
We have all read about and personally experienced the dramatically increasing cost of energy. This has translated to high food costs, high costs for fuel for our cars and the increase of operational costs for buildings. Traditionally, the aquatic environment has the greatest cost of operation due to its complex systems for maintaining safety, water quality and air quality on indoor venues. At Water Technology, Inc., we understand the importance and are committed to energy efficiency, conservation and the use of sustainable building practices. Our firm has been a proponent of energyefficient pool operations for many years and gains more experience on each project we undertake. Water Technology, Inc. has worked with various architects that have experience with designing facilities to U.S. Green Building standards. Internally, we have a group of professionals who meet on a regular basis to discuss LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) sustainable practices and how we can apply them to our projects. We have also committed to enhance energy efficiency in its own operations. We have 25 years of firm experience in aquatic planning, design and engineering, and have become a recognized leader in the industry. We feel it is our responsibility to develop new ways to apply sustainable design practices to our projects and in turn encourage manufacturers that we specify to make this same commitment. Where there are challenges, we find opportunities…

Aquatic System Challenges
• Pools are the most expensive element to construct.


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Lurking in the Natatorium
• Pools are the most expensive component to maintain. • Pools have the highest utility expense per square foot. • Pool energy costs represent 20 to 30 percent of operation expense. • Chemical expenses are 7 to 10 percent of operation expense. • Oil increased 8 percent per year during the past five years – last year, it doubled. • Natural gas increased 8 percent per year in the last three years – 24 percent total. • Electricity increased 6.5 percent per year in the last three years. • Chemicals increased 8 percent per year in the last four years – 32 percent. • Predictions for the future? chemical treatment, balance and heating. Utilizing regenerative media filtration, it is possible to reduce backwash loss by more than 90 percent. These filters represent a capital investment premium, but one for which the client would be given the information to make informed decisions regarding the value of this investment. • Cost premium – $25,000 to $50,000 • Payback – two to five years • Reduces water consumption dramatcally (325,000 gallons per year) • Eliminates the need for backwash tank • Improves water clarity for safer lifeguarding • Reduces sanitation chemical usage • Reduces water heating demands • Fully automated – reduces labor • Saves space in pool equipment room

Simple Energy-Saving Ideas
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Conduct a formal energy audit Pool blankets New lighting Regenerative filters Reclaiming exhaust heat Night setbacks on the HVAC system Solar heating – this is probably not realistic in the Pacific Northwest Air filter changing VFD for the pool and amenity pumps Premium-duty pumps instead of standard-duty High-efficiency pool heaters – 93 percent instead of 72 percent Energy-efficient lighting with fluorescent direct lamps System insulation Duct sealing Centrifugal low-RPM pumps instead of self-priming Optimizing motor starting Optimize maintenance program Shower-limiting valves Use medium-pressure ultraviolet secondary sanitation for better water and air quality (reducing the amount of chemicals and the amount of outside air requirements) Use CO2 monitors for less outside air and better air quality Commission building system to ensure balance

Aquatic Center Opportunities
• • • • • • • • • • Water-efficient pool filters High-efficiency pool heaters Premium-duty pool motors Variable-speed drives on pump motors Install hydronic solar collection system for pool water heating Increase insulation in warm natatoriums Insulated pool covers Reduce electrical usage during lowuse periods Strong periodic maintenance program Replace old-style fluorescents and/ or HIDs with new T5HO or SuperT8 lamps

Ultraviolet Disinfection System
Ultraviolet light (UV) provides a nonchemical, environmentally friendly treatment option for reducing chloramines in swimming pools and spas. Chloramines are responsible for the odor, irritation and enhanced corrosion often found at indoor aquatic facilities. UV light is also effective against chlorine-resistant pathogens like Cryptosporidium and Giardia. UV light is a continuous, proactive way to address both chloramines and chlorine-resistant pathogens. This technology is highly effective and reliable, and it is fully automated and requires minimal routine maintenance. • Supplemental sanitation reduces chloramines • Less outside air = less energy used • Increase air and water quality • Reduces the cause of red eye and skin irritation

• •

Regenerative Media Pool Filter
Water usage is an important consideration in the operation of swimming pools. Contributors to water usage include evaporation, bather carryout, splashout and backwash. Control of water usage is important because of the operational efforts placed into the water, including

Natatorium design will begin to incorporate energy-saving features to help control the operational expense of these venues. It is important to save energy costs through the utilization of the above-mentioned conservation strategies employed with high-performance design. It is equally important to design a facility that efficiently creates an environment that provides the users a consistently safe experience while, at the same time, controlling operational staff expense.

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Erie Community Center

Erie, Colorado
When making plans to build the Erie Community Center, “green” elements were taken into consideration and incorporated into the design. The most prominent action taken was the inclusion of a hydronic solar collection system that preheats all pool and domestic water uses. The indoor pool and the associated locker room showers have water heating demands yearround, making them the perfect candidate for a solar collection system. The benefit of the system is to reduce the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature to the necessary level. Also incorporated in the aquatics portion of the facility to help reduce the water usage, a Neptune-Benson Defender Regenerative Media Filter was installed. This system should reduce the water usage by approximately 325,000 gallons per year. The system does not require a backwash tank, therefore saving money in construction costs.

The traditional swimming pool has evolved a great deal over the years. It is no longer a rectangular tank of deep water, and the aquatic area at the Erie Community Center is no exception. Included in the indoor aquatics is a leisure pool, a three-lane lap pool, a zero-depth activity area, a rope swing, water basketball, a current channel, a vortex, a body flume slide with a plunge pool and a whirlpool. The lap pool, leisure pool, current channel, vortex and plunge pool are all connected, making up one body of water. Outdoors is a spray pad, which extends 486 square feet. The center helps weave the threads of the community and enhance the quality of life, family, togetherness and wellness of Erie residents. It serves a multigenerational public, including active retired adults, adults, parents, teens, young children, toddlers and infants. With the variety of leisure elements, there is recreational value that meets the needs of each demographic. Combining the lap pool with the leisure components into one facility creates a partnership that includes a full spectrum of activities that complement one another well. Visitors are interested in the quality leisure experience that includes high entertainment and social values that the center has to offer.

Firstenburg Community Center

Vancouver, Washington
The Firstenburg Community Center, named in recognition of a $3 million donation from First Independent Bank founders Ed and Mary Firstenburg, is an 80,000-square-foot multi-use facility that combines both recreational and community spaces and caters to all ages and abilities. Designed to achieve a LEED™ Silver certification, it was the first community center in the Pacific Northwest to be LEED™ Gold-certified. The Firstenburg Community Center creates an enduring model of environmentally responsible civic architecture and a source of pride for the city of Vancouver. The facility demonstrates the benefits and beauty of successful “green” design and sets the stage for other green public buildings. In addition to the indoor leisure pool with a spa and an outdoor spray ground, the facility offers a two-court gymnasium, a cardio and weight room, an indoor track, aerobics dance studios, a childcare room, a teen lounge and game room, a senior lounge and resource room, a juice bar and deli and multipurpose activity rooms.


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Why Hire an Aquatic Designer?
Design and Operational Issues

Any team can design an attractive pool, but will that design result in maximum revenue, efficient operations, minimal salary expense, and affordable maintenance supplies and equipment, security and supervision, as well as guest satisfaction, in the long run? An experienced aquatic design team has a practical working knowledge of the operations of aquatic centers that is key to the long-term success of the swimming facility. Here are a few of the design/operational considerations that an experienced team understands and plans for appropriately. • The need for multiple programming spaces is an important issue. Knowing what areas can double as teaching spaces, training areas and recreational swim/buyouts and rentals, while still meeting guests’ needs, is an acquired skill. Maximizing the use of these multi-pool complexes is imperative in the long-term funding of the facility. Understanding the need for different depths for programming, recreational use and safety is a complex formula that is achieved with practical experience of a design team. Designing for revenue is essential. • Minimize the need for lifeguard staff by designing a pool without additional blind spots, water surface glare and inappropriate depth changes. This keeps the number of lifeguards to a minimum and ensures a safe environment.

• Mechanical rooms that are designed by experienced teams allow for quick and easy access to shut-off valves, chlorination equipment, storage of supplies and chemicals and safe working environments. Often, these areas are handled by part-time staff, which needs a well-designed area and ease of access. This also minimizes training time and operational errors. • The selection characteristics for circulation and amenity pump sizing, placement and system hydraulic calculations to decrease energy consumption and increase longevity is important within the design. Correct filtration rates and types for the various aquatic venues being considered will produce optimum water clarity and efficient operational costs. • The attention to detail is important within a design. An experienced team knows what materials and methods provide the desired coefficient of friction for slip resistance, ease of maintenance, safety and durability and can advise you on what types of pool gutter systems are most appropriate for leisure pools, competition pools and wellness pools. In today’s changing bidding climate, a firm that focuses strictly on aquatics can better determine trends in bidding and help you stay within budget because they are working with those numbers every day. Across the nation, Water Technology, Inc. produces more than 150 aquatic designs per year and has built a historical database that is invaluable to each project that they undertake.

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Water Technology, Inc., would like to thank the following partners for their support during the past 25 years.
Architectural Design Consultants, Inc...........................74 Aqua Creek Products ...............................................76 Aquatic Development Group, Inc. ..............................81 Aquatics International...............................................42 Ballard*King and Associates ....................................82 Barker Rinker Seacat Architects....................................6 Barr Ryder Architects................................................75 BECS Technology, Inc.. ............................................80 Brock Enterprises.....................................................25 Design & Management School..................................79 Empex Watertoys....................................................81 ETS ......................................................................82 Graef Anhalt Schloemer and Associates Inc. ................82 Great Wolf Lodge...................................................74 LAN Associates ......................................................81 Lawson Aquatics .....................................................73 Lincoln Commercial Pool Equipment ...........................78 Lochinvar Corporation..............................................30 Muermann Engineering ............................................82 Murphy’s Waves.....................................................79 Myrtha Pools..........................................................78 Nemato, Inc. .........................................................81 Neptune-Benson .....................................................56 Neuman Group......................................................80 Paragon Aquatics ...................................................83 The Pool Company Inc.............................................77 Proslide Technology Inc ............................................84 Rain Drop Products..................................................75 Recreonics .............................................................80 RenoSys ................................................................31 SCS Interactive .......................................................80 Spectrum Products .....................................................7 SplashTacular Entertainment ....................................2, 5 Tailwind Furniture ....................................................79 USHK ...................................................................77 Vortex International ....................................................3 Water Safety Products .............................................73 Waterplay Manufacturing.........................................65 Weber Group Inc. ..................................................72 Whitewater West Industries ......................................12 World Waterpark Association ...................................76


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The Pool Company Inc. is a proud and quality builder of commercial aquatics facilities throughout the United States. The Pool Company Inc. specializes in the construction of indoor and outdoor commercial aquatics facilities in both the private and public sectors as well as design build projects. Please contact The Pool Company Inc. at your convenience regarding any commercial aquatics construction needs that you may have.



253-926-0590 FAX 219 - 54 Ave E • Fife, WA 98424

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Congratulations to Water Technology on their 25th anniversary from all at Murphy’s Waves.
See for latest surf machine video.
0044 (0)141-810-1313 PHONE


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FA L L 2 0 0 8 A P U B L I C AT I O N O F WAT E R T E C H N O L O G Y, I N C .


Specializing in Fun for 25 Years

To find out how your company can have its own publication, please contact Aran Jackson at 502.423.7272 or


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