Open less than a year, the
Gulliver Schools Aquatic Center (located on the Gulliver
Preparatory campus) already has established a reputation for being
a premier competition facility.
The 50-meter-by-25-yard competition pool includes a movable
bulkhead, allowing competitive high school swimming and water polo
events to happen simultaneously. A removable, custom-designed
netting barrier on the bulkhead prevents errant water polo balls.
The pool has 10 lanes in the 50-meter direction, and 20 lanes in
the 25-yard direction.
When it comes to design, the pool is above ground to keep all of
its 7-foot depth out of the surrounding high water table. It also
has a geothermal heating system that keeps water up to 20 degrees
warmer than the average ambient air temperature.
Rounding out the facility are special colored paver staging areas
for visiting teams, which can be used for parties; coaches’
offices, each of which has direct visual access to the entire pool
deck; a team classroom equipped for viewing and studying swimming
videos; and a team exercise room.
The aquatics facility was built for students, but it’s also
home to a Masters Swimming program, a swim club and a water polo
club for the surrounding neighborhood.
In six months, the swim club has expanded from 60 to 105 members,
and the Masters program has grown from 10 to 25 members.
Additionally, the full 50-meter collegiate length of the pool helps
attract northern colleges that move their teams to South Florida in
the winter and need rental facilities.
In fact, according to operators, two additional lanes were added
early in the design process in consideration of this potential
To accommodate future expansion, several building blocks were
included in the development. The coaches’ observation roof
deck was designed to accept future “green roof”
palettes of sedum plants.
It was also structurally designed to convert to a second story of
classrooms, and the pit for a future elevator (with all future
underground conduits in place) currently serves as a planter for
poolside palm trees, ready for future conversion.
“Fantastic — well-thought-out
geothermal heating! The school handled the aboveground aspects in a
great fashion. Great anticipation of the multiple uses for the pool
— competitive swimming, water polo and lap
- 50-meter-by-25-yard competition pool, 7
feet deep with 10 lanes in the 50-meter direction, and 20 lanes in
the 25-yard direction
- Movable bulkhead allows competitive high school swimming
and water polo events to happen simultaneously
- Geothermal heating system keeps water up to 20 degrees
warmer than the average
ambient air temperature
- Team classroom and exercise room