RECENT ARTICLES
  • Fort Bliss Raises Standard With New Aquatic Center

    by Christopher Prawdzik May 2013

    Building a state-of-the art aquatic facility doesn't happen overnight. Just ask officials at Fort Bliss. It took seven years, $15.5 million, and overcoming several challenges to get theirs just right.

  • ABC: How to Keep Your Pool From Becoming Obsolete

    by Michael Popke — AB Managing Editor November 2012

    The number of pool starts in the United States dropped by more than 70 percent between 2008 and 2011, according to market research firm PK Data. And even though the industry appears to have hit bottom and is on its way back up this year, aquatic facility operators still face plenty of challenges.

  • Deadline Looms for ADA Compliance on Pool Lifts

    by Michael Popke — AB Managing Editor November 2012

    Fewer than 75 days remain for aquatic facility operators to become compliant with provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act regarding access to public pools and spas. Last May, the U.S. Department of Justice extended the deadline from March 15, 2012, to Jan. 31, 2013.

  • 2012 Facility of Merit Winner: Clarkson Community Centre Pool Expansion

    by Andrew Cohen October 2012

    Part of the City of Mississauga, Ont.'s community center revitalization initiative, the Clarkson pool expansion extends the existing facility out toward the main street for increased presence and identity. The building pushes forward and is linked to an existing skate park, making both the park and the building more central to the site plan rather than a concession at the edge of the site. A large amount of strategically placed glazing communicates the interior functions of the new pool to the exterior, while advantageously opening up the building to receive much more natural light than previously. The transparency projects interior activities to the outside world as passive advertising and a means of keeping eyes on the street, staying true to Jane Jacobs' notions of city building.

  • Collaboration is Vital to Regional and Community Pool Projects

    by Michael Popke September 2012

    For about three years, the 50-meter stainless steel competition pool used at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Swim Trials sat disassembled in an Omaha, Neb., storage facility, not far from where 16,000 swimming fans had jammed the Qwest Center and witnessed the setting of nine world and 21 American records. The pool's bottom and side panels were stacked on pallets, and all of the mechanical equipment was housed in a climate-controlled space.

  • Extra Vigilance Necessary with 3-Meter Diving Boards

    by Michael Popke — AB Managing Editor July 2012

    Diving rarely enters the national spotlight, but with a focus on U.S. divers at the 2012 Summer Olympics beginning later this month in London, children may approach 3-meter springboards at local aquatic facilities with added curiosity. Consequently, pool operators must be extra vigilant. Relics from the '60s and '70s, the boards — typically accessed by 10-foot ladders and not always off-limits to recreational swimmers — need to be restricted for swimming and diving team use only, according to one aquatics safety expert who has studied springboard diving safety.

  • Time to Rethink How Pool Operators Protect Swimmers?

    by Michael Popke June 2012

    The pool of excuses for not knowing how to swim shrinks every year. Last month, the third annual World's Largest Swimming Lesson™, held at more than 100 aquatic facilities across the United States, attempted to teach an estimated 20,000 people to swim — for free.

  • 10-Year Campaign Announced to Bolster Aquatics Industry

    by Michael Popke — AB Managing Editor May 2012

    Simply teaching more people how to swim will result in reduced drowning rates, a decline in healthcare costs, and improved health and quality of life, according to the National Swimming Pool Foundation®, which Thursday launched the Step Into Swim™ campaign. The 10-year effort will initially partner with nine organizations that teach minority populations to swim. Increasing the numbers of swimmers will also build demand for public pools, spurring growth for the aquatics industry, according to NSPF CEO Tom Lachocki.

  • Variable Frequency Drives Help Pools Maximize Energy Efficiency

    by Emily Attwood April 2012

    After the wave of aquatic regulation changes that have taken effect over the last few months, commercial pool owners are likely looking forward to summer — their busiest time of year — as a chance to catch their collective breath.

  • Prep Swimmer Loses ADA Lawsuit

    by John Wolohan February 2012

    In an effort to break down some, if not all, of the barriers facing students with disabilities, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 require that schools make accommodations for students with disabilities that do not fundamentally change the nature of the activity. The question of what constitutes a reasonable accommodation, therefore, is usually vital to most ADA and Rehabilitation Act cases.