The Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center is a world-class natatorium featuring a 50-meter competition pool, a 25-yard therapeutic pool, and a spa. Originally constructed in 1991, with Counsilman-Hunsaker as the lead aquatic designer, the aquatic center needed major renovations and repairs. To address these issues, Counsilman-Hunsaker performed an audit to evaluate the life expectancy of the facility, while at the same time identified ways to enhance and complement existing programming. Moreover, the study developed project costs to repair and renovate the facility as well as additional enhancements.
In 2014, Counsilman-Hunsaker prepared an updated study of aquatic facility options that would help the community leaders make an educated decision before moving forward with the construction and operation of a natatorium expansion. Pleased with the study’s results, the city invested $8.6 million in improvements to renovate the 30,300 sq. ft. facility. Renovations include:
- Replacement of the diving boards, starting blocks, decks, gutters, and filtration systems
- Two new stainless steel bulkheads
- New pool finishes
- Expansion of the aquatic center to provide space for new bleachers
- New ultraviolet disinfection system for the competition pool
- Renovation of the fitness area, locker rooms, seating areas, and building exterior
- Replacement of fixtures throughout the facility
- Upgrades to the mechanical, electrical, and telecommunications systems
- Renovated and expansion of the lobby
- New family change locker rooms
- Full remodel of the existing men’s and women’s locker room
Innovative renovation included the reuse of the filtration system, adaptation and reuse of below grade pool piping, and installation of systems to improve both pool water and air quality. The facility includes an updated, efficient entry and expanded natural daylighting into the natatorium.
Since its commissioning, the aquatic center has hosted various national competitions including the Arena Pro Swim Series. The facility also offers programs and events for all ages and ability levels, one-on-one specialized instruction, lap swimming and recreational swimming.