Featuring a competition venue and an elaborate pirate-themed leisure area, Splash! La Mirada Aquatics Center is a testament to the Southern California city’s growing desirability.
Designed by Counsilman-Hunsaker and Westberg & White Inc., the
$24 million facility includes a broad range of interactive systems,
sophisticated theming and exotic finishes, making it one of the
nation’s premiere outdoor aquatics centers.
The main leisure elements occupy a 1,200 square-foot area
highlighted by a zero-depth entry pool with a pirate-head tipping
bucket. A 600-foot lazy river includes a variety of spray and
rainfall features and a central slide tower includes a body slide,
speed slide and tube slide.
The other side of the facility features an eight-lane, 50-meter
competition pool complete with a moveable bulkhead, a
gutter-overflow system, one- and three-meter diving platforms, and
two LED scoreboards. To one side of the competition pool are
concrete bleachers that can accommodate up to 400 people. The lawn
area on the other side has been planned and pre-plumbed for a
second 50-meter pool.
At the center of the site is an eight lane, 25-yard teaching pool
with a deck-level overflow and an elegant semi-circular stair
entry. Additionally, a 20-person therapy spa — in an unusual
three-leaf clover design — is set off in a quieter corner of
the facility, allowing groups of three to five people to sit in
separate areas with enough room in the center of the spa to allow
for vigorous water exercise.
All details of the 18-acre facility have practical purpose in
addition to aesthetics. For example, the decorative concrete is
designed to retard the sun, keeping bare feet comfortable. The
low-NOx pool heaters are gas-fired and energy efficient while the
high-rate sand filtration consists of the latest pumps and controls
for green measures. For water quality, the facility relies on bulk
sodium hypochlorite combined with C02 and acid for pH control. A
walled-off storage area provides housing for lane markers, starting
platforms, lifeguard stands, water polo cages and other competitive
The city of La Mirada’s connections to Spanish history led to
the overall theme, starting at the entrance where a pirate statue
greets guests. Once inside, themed features include an interactive
wrecked pirate ship, a spectacular skull rock formation emerging
from a sand play pit, a ship’s wheel, treasure chest and
scoreboards recalling the masts of Spanish vessels. Other elements
include rope bridges, signage frames and a host of piers and docks,
while even waste receptacles simulate wooden barrels.
Helping tie the entire property together is a series of winding,
interconnected paths of blue/mother-of-pearl exposed-aggregate and
sand-colored concrete. The walk paths are designed to evoke a
spacious feel with easy transition between activity areas.
Additionally, congregating spaces are appointed with concrete
benches, tables and chairs, and a sweeping arc of umbrellas. And a
large landscaped area, just above the main aquatic zone, is a
reliable revenue source with shade structures and areas for large
parties. The main building includes locker rooms, meeting and
food-service facilities, office space, and a retail store with
The City of La Mirada was recently named a “Best Place to
Live” by CNN MONEY Magazine, with the aquatic center named as
one of the reasons for the honor.
NUTS & BOLTS
Aquatic space: The main aquatics area is approximately 1,200 square feet
Year opened: 2007
Cost: $24 million
Dream feature: A themed leisure area that includes
a 550-foot-long lazy river and three waterslides and is flanked by
a 50-meter competition pool and a teaching pool.
- Aquatic Designer:Counsilman-Hunsaker
- Architect of Record: Westberg + White
- Swimming Pool Contractor:California Commercial Pools
- Project Management:C W Driver
- Pool Equipment Supplier: Knorr Systems
- Aquatic Lift: PAL RehaMed International
- Bulkheads: Stark Aquatic Systems
- Chemical Controllers:Impact AFC, Seimens Water Technologies
- Covers: T-Star
- Diving Boards & Stands: Durafirm International Corp.
- Filters, High Rate Sand: Nemato
- Grates: Lawson Aquatics
- Hardscape, Custom: Shaw & Sons
- Hardscape, Deck: Trademark Concrete
- Heaters: Lochinvar
- Lighting, Overhead: Musco Lighting
- Lockers: Smarte Carte
- Pumps, Circulation: ITT Marlow H2O Technologies
- Pumps, Features: Pentair
- Racing Lanes & Water Polo Goals:Antiwave
- River Rockwork: Boulderscape Inc.
- Safety Equipment & Starting Blocks:Paragon Aquatics
- Scoreboards & Timing Systems: Colorado Time
- Shade Structures: Sunports
- Slides & Play Structure:Whitewater West
- Spray Features: Aquatic Recreation Co.
- Theming: Scenario Design
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