When school district leaders in Lee’s Summit Mo., decided it was time to build a new competition facility, they hired a local design team to create a natatorium featuring a balance of amenities. Opened in 2009, it is ideal for use by three existing high schools, and a planned fourth high school. It includes a 10-lane-by-50-meter pool with a movable bulkhead, two 1-meter springboards and one 3-meter springboard. Interior design features the colors of all three schools, and the facility also is open to the community. Shallow portions in the center of the pool accommodate a range of programming and include accessible ramped access.
The aquatic center design focuses on the safety and comfort of swimmers and spectators. To control sound, acoustical metal roof deck and masonry units were used in the pool area. Insulated precast concrete wall panels were used to create an energy-efficient building envelope. For the pool itself, high efficiency filtration and an ultraviolet light system save energy and enhance the water and air quality. Mechanical systems with state-of the-art temperature and humidity controls provide six air changes per hour for the comfort of the swimmers.
The pool is designed for eight 50-meter lap lanes, eight 25-yard, or eight 25-meter lap lanes, depending on the moveable bulkhead location. The width accommodates as many as 23 lap lanes measuring 25 yards each, or two sets of eight 25-yard lap lanes, depending on the moveable bulkhead location. Large swim meets are not the focus of the facility, but there is elevated spectator seating for 400. The seating area features glass railings, helping eliminate obstructed views of the pool, and state-of-the-art“tube” lighting is used to illuminate the interior of the pool space. There are no exterior windows.