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Shawnee Mission School District Aquatic Center

Lenexa, KS
Construction Cost: $24 million
Area / Square Feet: 54,341 SF
Occupancy Date: October 2019

The Shawnee Mission School District Aquatic Center’s main design element is its curvilinear roof, which evokes water in motion. In addition, the exterior skin is a combination of concrete structural panels, large expanses of glazing that tilt outward, and multicolored metal panels that together create a sense of flow. Each of the five main beams span more than 200 feet over the pool, creating the distinctive form of the roof. The secondary beams spring off the main beams to create extra volume in the lobby, allowing natural light to permeate the building.

The SMSD Aquatic Center includes a 50-meter, eight-lane competition pool with two movable bulkheads to allow numerous course layouts. The pool also includes a 12-foot-6-inch-deep diving well that supports 1- and 3-meter diving boards. A 25-yard, four-lane warm-water instructional pool has a movable floor that adjusts from seven feet to zero inches to allow for a variety of programs. Spectators have tremendous sight lines from the raised bleacher area with seating for 1,000 people. Additionally, the viewing mezzanine provides space for another 200 observers to overlook the pool in a climate-controlled environment. There is also dedicated seating behind the diving boards for more than 300 swimmers, and additional portable bleachers can be placed between the pools to handle even larger crowds.

The district’s vision was to create a facility for the entire Midwest region. It expects to host large aquatics competitions and other public health and wellness programs every weekend. It also serves as the new competition center for local club teams, as well as all five district high schools.