A pioneering aquatics design firm has changed ownership.

According to Pool & Spa News, Rowley International, one of a few companies said to have birthed the aquatics-design industry, has been purchased by Olathe, Kan.-based engineering firm Terracon. With its second industry acquisition, the relative newcomer to aquatics hopes to become a top player in the field.

Terracon entered the market last year with the purchase of Neil O. Anderson and Associates, a geotechnical and structural engineering firm based in Lodi, Calif. That company began offering complete aquatics-design services in 2009.

Started by industry pioneer William Rowley, his firm designed more than 675 major swimming pool complexes, including high-profile projects like the 1984 Olympics pools and the restoration of historical landmarks such as the Rose Bowl and 1932 Olympics pools, writes senior editor Rebecca Robledo.

With this latest acquisition, Terracon has doubled its aquatics business.

As a result of the transaction Rowley has signed on with Terracon as a consultant.

“Bill has an excellent reputation and portfolio of work that he has done over a long and illustrious career,” Anderson said. “He and … [the founders of Counsilman-Hunsaker] were the pioneers in the aquatic design business, and they kind of formalized the concept of an aquatic designer.”

For the time being, Rowley International and Neil O. Anderson and Associates will remain separate brands, but will be replaced by Terracon’s once it has become established in the aquatics sector, Anderson added.

Terracon expects its size, with more than 140 offices in 40 states, to help quickly expand its aquatics reach, Robledo notes in the article.

“We’ll move into other states because of the tool box that we now have access to,” Anderson said. “We stand to do well in remodel and retrofit work because we have extensive forensic experience, as well as materials and geotechnical experience.” Read More