Olathe Community Center

Olathe, KS
Construction Cost: $23 million
Area / Square Feet: 72,000
Occupancy Date: July 2014

The Olathe Community Center offers activities and services for residents of all ages and abilities in the community. The goal of the design was to create an identity for the center by relating both the architectural and interior design back to elements that are specific to the community.

The natatorium is integrated with the center’s park setting using a “Day in the Park” theme. A children’s tree house anchors the play features, while elements such as flowers and caterpillars adorn a lazy river. A ceiling-mounted rain curtain not only eliminates the need for connections that may obscure lifeguard sight lines but also creates an indoor Midwestern thunderstorm, complete with a flash of light, a clap of thunder and a downpour of rain.

The aquatic center’s organically shaped pool is designed to provide a wide range of activities for all ages and multiple programming opportunities for water aerobics, learn-to-swim and therapy. A 25-yard, four-lane lap pool features a rock climbing wall and platform jumping — perfect for more adventurous swimmers. The pool program direction was to be as transparent as possible to reduce staffing without compromising the fun or safety of users.