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Field House Sports, Fitness & Aquatics Center

Waukegan, IL
Construction Cost: $8.6 million
Area / Square Feet: 23,000
Occupancy Date: December 2016

Aquatic needs

The indoor aquatic center addition to the Field House at Hinkston Park was spurred by a comprehensive 2012 aquatic-needs study for the Waukegan Park District. Designed to meet the needs of residents and visitors of all ages, the facility includes an eight-lane lap pool for competition, recreation and fitness; a warm-water therapy pool; and a shallow wading/spray pool. In addition to serving residents, the all-inclusive aquatic center is home to a swim team that relocated from a neighboring community, as well as the local high school, which hosts competitions at the new aquatic center.

Complementing the old

The new facility was added to an existing recreation center, which has a reputation of being an exceptional facility, and it was important to complement the existing design. The project budget was established accordingly. All material and system selections were carefully made to meet the project budget with the involvement of a construction manager. Efficient and cost-effective design was also necessary to satisfy the State of Illinois grant program. The new aquatic center uses consistent design elements and materials. The wall structure is precast concrete and masonry with expansive glass on the east and north sides to provide natural lighting, thereby reducing energy costs.

Sensitive planning

The confined and naturally sensitive site provided significant challenges. The design had to carefully address expansion of parking and storm-water detention into the adjacent, wooded park. The only possible way to expand parking was to fill an existing storm-water detention area. Not only was it necessary to relocate the existing detention basin, but additional storm-water detention was required. The solution involved integrating it with the topography of the park, and vegetating it to complement the natural landscape.