After a long and anticipated wait, the Macdonald Island Park celebrated its grand opening in the fall of 2010. The completed aquatic center provides interactive play, fitness, recreation, educational, wellness and therapy and competition opportunities, offering six different water temperatures. From coolest (1) to warmest (6) the various areas include: A 54-meter competition pool with one 3-meter and two 1-meter spring boards (1); a four-lane, multi-purpose warm-up/teaching pool (2); an activity sprayground featuring a play structure with more than 40 spray features (3), a zero-depth activity pool with a beach entry, lazy river and 2 water slides (4), a family whirlpool (5) and an adult whirlpool (6). The mix of features provides inter-generational appeal while accommodating a spectrum of activities including family, learn-to-swim, wellness and therapy, high-end competition and water sports.
To create a sense of escape, developers themed the facility with a Caribbean vibe.Tropical-like conditions were created using theming and natural light (which also reduced energy and operational costs).
The aquatics area itself was built as part of a multi-phase renovation project. It was difficult to find contractors available to bid on the job was difficult because of the high volume of ongoing work nearby. To resolve this issue, designers opted for a pre-engineered modular pool system, providing durability and high performance characteristics, while minimizing the need for additional trades people for construction and ceramic tiling. Designers also planned for longevity accounting for operational costs, maintenance and other factors. For example, features from the play structure were constructed from stainless steel to provide ultimate durability and low maintenance costs. Additional costs saving measures include VFD drives on pool circulation pumps and a slide layout that minimizes the need of additional staff members.