Gauche Aquatic Park (GAP) fulfills a longstanding community vision by realizing strategic recreational and municipal goals dating back to 1992. It also serves as the hub of the city’s park system and brings vitality to the downtown area. Aquatic elements include a 10-lane, 25-yard swimming and diving pool for competition and recreation; a two-lane warm-up and teaching pool attached to a zero-depth-entry children’s activity pool; a 24-foot-high water slide with receiving pool; a 10,000-square-foot recreation building; and landscape-rich park space with two themed playgrounds.
GAP is located adjacent to the Feather River, and the facility’s design mirrors the river’s form and character with a meandering pedestrian “Riverwalk” path that originates at the main entrance of the park and connects to a variety of spaces. These include two youth play areas, strolling gardens, an amphitheater, group and individual picnic areas, and horseshoe pits. The Riverwalk leads to the aquatics building and extends through the lobby out to the pool deck, terminating at the prominent water-slide tower.
With the community park to one side of the building and the pools to the other, the building acts as a natural boundary. The concessions space has service windows for the park and the pools, and separate restrooms are located on either side of the structure.