The city of Rogers, Ark., sought to transform a 70-year-old municipal pool into a regional destination that would draw water lovers from other cities. The result, completed in 2013 at a cost of $12 million and funded through a city bond issue, is this waterpark/leisure pool hybrid, which designers call the premier outdoor municipal aquatic venue in Northwest Arkansas. Seven venues, 10 deck areas and a building structure cover more than 20,000 square feet and include a spraypad, tot pool, leisure pool, lazy river, tube slides, bowl slide, plunge pool, climbing wall, speed slides and competition lap pool.
From an early stage, it became clear that two things would take high priority: sustainability and the need to expand in the future. As part of the design team’s forward-thinking approach, it incorporated LED lighting throughout the site, including underwater. Slides and towers are lit by two LED color light towers, which produce up to 30,000 color combinations. On the mechanical side, redundant pumps were used for each venue, as was the capability to add UV sanitation to supplement chlorine and remove microbes. Maintenance buildings were constructed with enough space to accommodate heaters that could be added later. For energy savings, each pool venue has its own circulation system to provide multiple points of filtration and circulation. Variable-frequency drives ensure that pumps only run as hard as they need at any given time. In addition, all areas are ADA accessible, except venues launched from slide towers.
Of the Environs
The city chose the theme, “Nature in the Ozarks,” which was to carry throughout the property. The color palette is taken from the deep blue green of nearby Beaver Lake, the chalky green blue that nearby creeks and rivers take on after spring rains, the tan/brown seen in gravel bars, and a range of grays to evoke the Ozarks’ limestone bluffs. These hues are found throughout the park and aquatics center in features such as the architectural elements, paving design, waterfeatures, signage and play elements.