This complex is a renovation of Shawnee Municipal Swimming Pool, which was built in the 1930s as part of the federal Works Progress Administration program. After 78 years, the city wanted to revive the facility, but had a limited budget. An evaluation and feasibility study determined that the bathhouse and the original pool’s deep-end structure could be retained, allowing more funds to go toward waterpark features. The team crafted a zero-depth-entry leisure pool with current channel, a deep-water pool, and the lap pool — all in the original vessel’s existing footprint to help retain the long curved shapes of the vintage. Designers also restored the bathhouse roof, which had been modernized through the years, to retain the more peaked look of the 1930s architecture. Certain equipment also was judged as salvageable, such as an existing sand filter. Designers combined two of the pools’ circulation systems to reduce costs of construction, equipment and maintenance. But the shallow leisure pool/spraypark has its own treatment systems to minimize the impact of potential fecal accidents.
The city needed a 25-meter lap pool to accommodate its strong competitive swim programs, but organizers didn’t want the space only to serve teams and lap swimmers. For broad appeal, the pool sports several play features, such as water slides, climbing walls, leisure benches and a log roll — all placed so they won’t interfere with the lap lanes. Competitive swimming was recognized at the center’s grand opening, when Olympic medalist Josh Davis and several nationally ranked local swimmers attended.
The designers hoped to convert the original pool’s deep end into a stand-alone deep-water activity pool for 1- and 3-meter diving. However, the existing structure was not deep enough to meet standards for safe diving. To bridge ambition with reality, they built the pool walls up to sit approximately 3 feet above the ground. Decking in back was raised to the new pool elevation, but the deck in front remained. Out of the raised wall, the team created an 85-foot-long infinity edge, which spills into grates on the deck. This pool also features a climbing wall and dedicated deep-water swimming area. The spraypark (previous page) was located at the facility’s perimeter so it and the concessions stand could be used during the many events held on the premises, even when the other pools are closed.