After a long and anticipated wait, the Macdonald Island Park celebrated its grand opening in the fall of 2010.
The completed aquatic center provides interactive play, fitness,
recreation, educational, wellness and therapy and competition
opportunities, offering six different water temperatures. From
coolest (1) to warmest (6) the various areas include: A 54-meter
competition pool with one 3-meter and two 1-meter spring boards
(1); a four-lane, multi-purpose warm-up/teaching pool (2); an
activity sprayground featuring a play structure with more than 40
spray features (3), a zero-depth activity pool with a beach entry,
lazy river and two water slides (4), a family whirlpool (5) and an
adult whirlpool (6).
The facility was developed with an eye toward the future. Designers
planned for longevity accounting for operational costs, maintenance
and other factors. For example, features from the play structure
were constructed from stainless steel to provide ultimate
durability and low maintenance costs. Additional costs saving
measures include VFD drives on swimming pool circulation pumps and
designing slides that terminate into deceleration lanes and the
activity pool and lazy river, minimizing the need of additional
The aquatics area itself was built as part of a multi-phase
renovation project. At the time of construction finding
construction personnel available to bid on the job was difficult
because of the high volume of ongoing work nearby. To resolve this
issue designers opted for a pre-engineered modular pool system,
providing durability and high performance characteristics, while
minimizing the need for additional trades people for construction
and ceramic tiling.
Overall, the size of the project was extensive given the population
of Fort McMurray. The mix of features provides inter-generational
appeal while accommodating a spectrum of activities including
family, learn-to-swim, wellness and therapy, high-end competition
and water sports.
To create a sense of escape, developers chose a Caribbean tone for
the venue. A tropical-like environment was created using theming
and natural light (which also reduced energy and operational
NUTS & BOLTS
Cost: $9.7 million
Aquatic space: 55,000 square feet
Dream amenities: A 10-lane Olympic-sized pool with a
3-meter and two 1-meter spring boards; a 4-lane, warm-water
training pool; an indoor family spraypark; two large water slides
with a run-out pool; a family whirlpool spa; an adult whirlpool
spa, steam room and sauna.
- Dream Designer: Vortex Aquatic Structures Intl.
- Architect: Vortex Aquatic Structures Intl.
- Aquatic Designer: Water Technology
- Contractor: Stuart Olson Constructors Mc.
- Pool Contractor: Master Pools Alta Ltd.
- Duraflex Intl.: Diving boards
- Myrtha Pools USA: Pool
- Neptune-Benson: Filters
- Vortex Aquatic Structures Intl.: Water-play equipment
- Whitewater West Industries: Slides