dreamed of being a professional athlete as a child, but when he
grew up, he discovered he was already doing a different dream job:
designing aquatics facilities for athletes. Still, 35-year-old
Scott Hester doesn’t considers himself “grown up”
just yet. He is still amazed to be considered an industry leader
“I’m still so young and
I have so much more to learn and to offer the industry over the
next 20 years,” says the studio director and principal at
designing firm Counsilman-Hunsaker in St. Louis.
Though a kid
at heart, Hester has plenty of adult responsibilities. He is a
partner at the firm and often can be seen speaking at national
conferences on a variety of topics, including facility budgeting
and operation, and municipal designing.
joining Counsilman-Hunsaker in 1998, Hester’s gone through a
baptism by fire. But his background in civil engineering and
architecture made him more than up to the challenge. And then
there’s his enthusiasm.
truly enjoy and love what I do, and going to work every day and
doing what I do is a joy,” he says.
gung-ho attitude is tempered by serious concerns.
many publicly owned facilities operate under a debt service,”
he says. “People need to be more aware of things they can do
to make their facilities economic assets for that
revenue spenders, he says aquatics facilities need to be seen as
revenue generators. Such facilities can then make justifiable
arguments for improvements, additions and
where Hester and company come in — and their lasting
relationships with clients. “You may do a project for someone
and it may be 30 years later that they may request your services
again,” he says. His company already is experiencing that
phenomenon as pools begin to age or municipalities desire
modernized, updated facilities.
He says he is
extremely fortunate to work with “some of the best architects
in the world” and to have learned a lot from others in the
aquatics industry. “What I’ve learned is to learn from
others,” he says. “Then make it better.”
— Rin-rin Yu