Have you noticed? Aquatics are growing in popularity! There is increasing demand for both new pools and renovation of existing facilities. Existing facilities are looking for ways to increase revenue and decrease overhead. New facilities, still in the planning and development stages, have to weigh all aspects of aquatic design and what pools they can afford to include in the construction.
Many times we hear that “rectangular pools,” i.e. pools built for competition, are not self-supporting and should be eliminated from the design. We also hear that “curvy” pools with fountains and slides are money-makers. Let’s put things in perspective: rectangles are the cornerstone of the aquatic facility. They are used for so much more than competitive swimming and should really be referred to as Community Pools. We use the rectangles for a variety of programming that is necessary for the community. Without the rectangular community pool, where people can actually learn swimming and water safety, the other bodies of water have an increased drowning risk.
A 50 meter or 25 yard varying depth pool can be used for:
- Competitive swimming
- Adult lap swimming
- Safety training
- Adult water acclimation classes
- Kayak and boating classes and safety courses
- Masters Swimming programs
- Snorkeling and Fins instruction
- Scuba instruction
- Firemen’s, Policemen’s and EMT rescue training
- Water Polo
- Water Basketball leagues
- Boy & Girl scouts and Boys & Girls clubs water introduction classes
- Adult vertical water running with floatation belts
- Tri-athlete training
- Rehab of athletes by athletic trainers
- Camps and clinics
- Age group swimming
- Learn to swim programs
- Aquatic rehab continuum programs
Note that water rental can be for the entire pool, usually around $150 per hour, or by lane. Short course lanes rent for $10 to $14 per lane per hour while long course lanes from can bring $18 to $25 per hour.
So when you hear that the curvy pools financially out-perform rectangles, it just isn’t true provided the proper professional programming is in place. A facility of the 21st century should include multiple pools for community use including both rectangle and other recreational designs.