Several years ago, consultants were charged with designing a dynamic, exciting aquatics facility for the city of Woodward, Okla. The end result is the Crystal Beach Aquatic Center. Opened on July 4, 2009, the centerpiece of the project is an water-play structure that features slides, sprays, cannon and a large 50-gallon dumping bucket.

Woodward is known as a hub for sustainable energy, and the Crystal Beach Aquatic Center includes a number of green features. Recirculating water is a key step in managing the main water resource, and the stainless steel play structure is 100 percent recyclable at the end of life. Additionally, plastic components are recyclable through a program offered by the supplier. Re-grinding the product makes way for second-generation applications.

From the start, the facility was built to serve the entire community. To best appeal to children of all ages, the play structure was designed with distinct spaces for different age groups. The toddler area encourages little ones cognitive development, sensory discovery, motor skills development and socialization through interaction. Older family members can enjoy the cross-generational features, including spray cannons and rotational spray bars.

This waterfeature is the first of its kind installed in the new Crystal Beach Aquatics Center for the city of Woodward. Along with other waterfeatures, the daily attendance has grown from 80 to more than 550, which is absolutely amazing, says Doug Haines, assistant city manager/CFO. We the city can t say enough good things about this feature and how it has improved the quality of life in this region.

To maximize visual appeal, specific color themes were selected for the play structure. For example, the yellow tone on the play structure highlights the yellow shade structures.


Opened: 2009

Cost: N/A

Aquatic space: 9,300 square feet

Dream amenities: play structure including slides, sprays, cannons and a large dumping bucket


  • Dream Designer: Vortex International
  • Architect: Studio Architecture
  • Aquatic Designer: Aquatic Excellence
  • Vortex Product Distributor: Power Play
  • Civil Engineer: Cobb Engineering Co.
  • Structural Engineering: Kirkpatrick Forest Curtis PC
  • Mechanical and plumbing:DHO Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering: Horner Associate Engineers
  • Landscape Architect: Howard-Fairbairn Site Design


  • Paddock Industries: Filters, gutters, ladders, grab bars
  • Sun Ports: Shade structures
  • Vortex International: Water-play equipment