This 10-lane-by-50-meter competition pool holds nearly 600 spectators and hundreds of participants. The double bulkhead configuration offers maximum flexibility; the venue can accommodate events large and small, as well as classes and open swimming simultaneously. Except during long course events, one side of the pool can be set up for competitions while facility members can still swim at the other end. The RecPlex Aqua Arena pool also features a shallow middle,providing for competitive start depths of 2 meters or greater, and deep underwater kicking at both ends. A 12-foot depth at the pool’s east end provides the option to add diving boards in the future.
Abundant natural light and views provide a welcome alternative to the dark, windowless spaces of many comparable facilities. Translucent wall panels along the mezzanine’s south wall are protected from glare by a large overhang, which diminishes solar heat gain in summer and provides a soft filtered light to its interior spaces. With spectator views directed northward, architects were able to locate floor to roof glazing at the pool’s northeast and northwest corners,allowing indirect northern light and providing views to adjacent lake and park areas.
The RecPlex Aqua Arena is on track to receive LEED Silver Certification, and has been awarded an incentive grant in excess of $50,000 by Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy Program in recognition of its energy-saving accomplishments. The most innovative energy-saving feature, a lake loop geothermal system, features nearly 12 miles of coiled tubing, submerged to the bottom of the adjacent lake, which heat and cool the building, pool and domestic hot water. This, along with increased wall and roof insulation, triple pane glazing, energy efficient lighting, and an energy recovery system, allow the building to achieve a nearly 50 percent yearly energy savings vs. the same building constructed to a building code minimum baseline. Other sustainable building practices including significant use of local and recycled materials, day lighting strategies and low VOC content finishes.