• Pool Type Indoor 25-Yard
  • Project Type K-12
  • Project Service Design Services
  • StatusCompleted 2018
  • ArchitectECI/Hyer, Inc.

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Mount Edgecumbe High School Natatorium

Sitka, AK

The Mt. Edgecumbe High School Aquatic Center opens May 4, 2018. (Photo by James Poulson, Daily Sitka Sentinel)

Mount Edgecumbe High School is a public boarding school founded in 1947 which serves 400 students from over 100 communities across Alaska. State funding through the education bond package provided for design and construction of the aquatic center on the Mount Edgecumbe campus. Recreational opportunities complement a rigorous academic curriculum and improve the quality of life for young students who are away from their homes and families, and many of whom hail from small villages where pool access is not available. In addition, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in Alaska. Therefore, a swimming pool serving students from across Alaska provides the opportunity to educate future community leaders in this area. The pool will be used for swim classes, recreation swim, swim team practice, and training by the cross-country team, as well as for the Alaskan Trooper Academy and the US Coast Guard. The 31,650 sq. ft. natatorium includes:

6,500 sq. ft. Recreation Pool

  • Eight 25-yard lap lanes with two 1-meter diving boards
  • Climbing wall
  • Dropslide
  • Rope swing
  • Adjacent diving well with five 25-meter lap lanes

As with many construction projects in Alaska, the aquatic center was not without its unique challenges. The original site chosen for the facility was situated above an old two-million-gallon fuel tank. However, the amount of petroleum, oil, and lubricants discovered in the soil was beyond expectations, so another site had to be located. After clearing the land for the new site, berms lined with multiple layers of fabric and reinforced poly were installed around the perimeter of the new containment cell so as not to contaminate the new holding area. During construction, deciding the plan of action on precision placement of two 106-foot beams, each weighing 27,000 pounds and spanning the entire natatorium, also posed a challenge for the construction team.