The 61,000-square-foot C.V. Starr Community Center, for the Mendocino Coast Recreation and Park District, was designed for construction in three phases. Phases I and II were completed in December 2009 and include the Sigrid & Harry Spath Aquatic Facility natatorium featuring a zero-depth entry leisure pool with interactive waterfeatures and three lanes for lap swimming.It’s ideal for water play, lessons and other recreational activities and is complemented by a 175-foot-long lazy river with tumble bucket waterfeatures, and a 150-foot-long water slide and splash pool.
There’s also a 25-yard, 25-meter competition pool for lap swimming and competition; men’s and women’s locker rooms; family changing rooms; an aerobics studio; weight training/exercise room; lounge; multi-purpose rooms; and administrative offices. Future additions will include a gymnasium; meeting/classrooms; catering kitchen; arts and crafts rooms; and additional administrative offices.
The aquatic center is sited such that the natatorium gable end is centered on Maple Street — the main approach leading up to the project entry — giving the facility a very strong community presence and identity. The stained exterior cement board siding, gray standing seam metal roofs, and building blend with the community context. The building forms utilize gable roof forms (prominent in the area) that slope down to lower the building’s profile. A pyramidal standing seam metal roof marks the building entry and large translucent pyramidal skylights over the public circulation areas allow welcoming natural light into the center.
The Aquatic Center’s functional planning maximizes staff efficiency and functionality. The indoor aquatic center allows year-round use by the community and has been phenomenally successful thus far. The pool’s depth accommodates water polo and classes for local pursuits of scuba diving and kayaking. The leisure pool handles multi-generational activities such as Moms, Pops and Tots swim lessons, teen recreation and exercise classes for the elderly and disabled.
Design allows building staff to easily supervise both the aquatic areas and the dry activity areas. The lobby/reception area is positioned to allow for sight lines to the main entry, locker room entries, multi-purpose rooms, aerobics room, and fitness room. The lifeguard office is located on the natatorium deck and is glazed on all sides, allowing unobstructed views to the pool deck, pools, and aquatic features.
The swimming pools are designed with multiple activity areas to promote maximum utilization while minimizing the lifeguard staff necessary to fully guard the facility. The locker rooms were designed to include wet and dry toilet and locker areas to serve both the natatorium and the dry activity areas such as the fitness and multi-purpose rooms.
The aquatic center was also designed with a high level of environmental awareness. The project incorporates cost effective and appropriate sustainable building practices and achieves a high level of energy efficiency through the use of natural day lighting throughout the facility; energy efficient pool heaters, light fixtures, space conditioning equipment that includes a heat recovery system and direct digital controls; thermal pool covers; a UV pool water filter system; and low water use plumbing fixtures. The project includes a photovoltaic system on the south facing roof of the natatorium allowing the facility to produce a portion of its own renewable energy. Translucent panels were used for the large skylight in the natatorium and the west gable end panel to allow for indirect natural light within the natatorium while reducing glare on the pools.
All told, this project is a long-time dream finally come true for the Mendocino Coast community. Planning began 20 years ago and included extensive community participation meetings and workshops. A comprehensive facility program and operations and revenue analysis were also developed, setting the overall grand-scheme vision, as well as the operational reality.
The Mission of MCRPD is to provide opportunities on the Mendocino Coast that promote physical and mental well-being for everyone, through active play, community enrichment, programs and events.
Today, the C.V. Starr facility provides recreational service to this coastal community as well as vital learn-to-swim programming. The proximity to the ocean makes learning to swim a necessity for the residents. MCRPD collaborates with businesses and other agencies to offer water safety programs and classes. Examples of this collaboration include working with the local dive center to teach kayak and Scuba skills and collaborating with school districts to offer swim lessons to second grade students. The center also hosts many events throughout the year, encouraging widespread community involvement.
Increases in attendance along with continued improvements in efficiency within the facility operation system has lead to monthly increases in revenue generation, which has allowed the District to add more programs. The flexibility of the pool design has allowed incorporation of suggestions from the patrons and community resulting in the addition of programs such as an arthritis water exercise class and a class for expectant mothers.
NUTS & BOLTS
Cost: $18 million
Aquatic space: 21,680 square feet
Dream amenities: Design includes a 25-yard, 25-meter competition pool with a 1 meter diving board; a zero-depth entry leisure pool that includes three lanes for lap swimming, bubblers, and starburst play features; a 175-foot-long lazy river with tumble buckets and a 150-foot-long water slide with a splashdown pool.
- Dream Designer: Glass Architects
- Architect: Glass Architects
- Aquatic Designer: Counsilman-Hunsaker
- Associate Architect: Paul Douglas
- Civil & Structural Engineer: I.L. Welty & Associates
- Mechanical/Plumbing Engineer: C&B Engineers
- Electrical Engineer: O’Mahony & Myer
- Chemtrol: Chemical control systems
- Comtec: Lockers
- Duraflex Intl.: Diving board
- Hanovia: Sanitization equipment (UV)
- Lawson Aquatics: Gutters
- Lincoln Equipment: Lane markers
- Nemato Corp.: Cleaners/vacuums
- Paco Pumps: Pumps
- Paragon Aquatics: Filters
- Pentair Water Commercial Pool and Aquatics
- Rain Drop Products: Water-play equipment
- Raypak: Heaters
- Recreonics: Access lift
- Scott Springfield: Dehumidification system
- Spectrum Products: Starting blocks
- Splashtacular: Water slides
- T-Star Enterprises: Covers