The community of Aurora has reason to be excited this summer: its 45 year old pool has been demolished and replaced with a new $3.5 million aquatic facility.
After a successful soft opening a week earlier, excitement filled the air in Aurora on May 30. Not only did this mark the pool’s grand opening, complete with a ribbon cutting, but behind the gates laid a new aquatic facility, a significant community asset.
The new Aurora Aquatic Facility features an 8,300 square foot pool with a two flume/modified speed slide, a corkscrew slide, lily pads to walk across, diving boards, zero depth entry, a splash area with bucket dump, and sun shade for observers. The facility also includes a 3,500 square foot bathhouse that offers free Wi-Fi and houses a fully stocked concession stand.
The new aquatic facility has already seen attendance levels reach the upper 400s, which is just short of the maximum 500-person capacity and double the capacity of the old pool system. With the added square footage and water play features, the new facility requires seven lifeguards on deck at any given time, which is three more lifeguards than the old pool required. To adequately staff the larger lifeguard rotation, the facility hired ten additional lifeguards.
As the design engineer, JEO was excited to work with the community of Aurora to bring this project to fruition and deliver a successful project. Our involvement began in 2000, when the city requested a facility study. The evaluation of the pool facility indicated areas that were not in compliance with current design guidelines and the need for several costly repairs. Looking at these recommendations, as well as future operation and maintenance costs for an aging pool, JEO and the city determined a new facility was the best alternative.
In 2009, the city began developing community support to help move the project forward again. During this time, JEO worked with city staff members and stakeholders to gain valuable input and incorporated those needs and desires into the final project design. Construction to areas of the new facility began in 2013 with demolition of the old pool site occurring at the close of the pool season. A well thought out plan was developed to allow the old system to stay in operation during portions of construction, so the community would never lose a pool season. The new facility is located west of the existing swimming pool facility and lies beautifully in Streeter Park.
JEO’s project manager, Dave Henke, stated there were several “first’s” to Aurora’s new aquatic facility:
Layout of the new aquatic facility is highly visible from Highway 34. The existing cross walk off of Highway 34 remained in place and is operated by pool staff. Walkways to the pool will eventually tie into the existing trail system.
Located off Q Street (Highway 34), the Aurora Aquatic Facility is family oriented and offers an array of amenities for every age group. If you are in Aurora during the summer, make time to check out the aquatic facility. You are sure to have an a’ror’n good time.