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Dubuque Community School District Aquatic Center Renovation and Addition, Hempstead High School

Dubuque, IA
Construction Cost: $8,450,000
Area / Square Feet: 31,000 sf
Occupancy Date: March 2020

When a nearly 50-year-old pool began to show signs of age, the Dubuque Community School District sought to replace it. The result is the Dubuque Community School District Aquatic Center, which serves the district’s two high schools and provides a new training and competition 25-meter stretch pool, complete with a movable bulkhead capable of four different competitive course setups, as well as for use in cross-course training and diving.

The design team worked closely to determine that the project would be best attached to one of the existing high schools in order to take advantage of existing features such as event entry, parking, restrooms and locker rooms. Priorities shared by the district, as well as its local youth swim program partner, led to a competition-focused design that features depth optimized for racing. Off the pool deck, a wet classroom was created to allow for instruction, while auxiliary locker rooms and storage were added for after-hours use of the facility. Balcony seating provides excellent sight lines for a capacity crowd of 330 spectators. Windows are strategically positioned to allow diffused natural light into the space while avoiding glare for both swimmers and fans.