St. Xavier High School, founded in 1831, is a Catholic college preparatory school for young men conducted by the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). In 2019, SHP Leading Design, authorized by Saint Xavier High School, commissioned Counsilman-Hunsaker to provide a swimming pool and pool mechanical systems audit of the existing indoor 50-meter competition pool located in the Keating Natatorium. The purpose of the swimming pool audit was to identify items that were substandard among the pool and mechanical equipment, items not meeting current health code requirements or industry standards, and equipment that was not operating as designed. The audit assisted in defining a course of action regarding the future of the swimming pool. Finally, an opinion of probable construction cost was provided for all recommended repairs.
The 50-meter pool was originally constructed in 1969 and was immediately followed by the most dominant dynasty of any sport sanctioned by the Ohio High School Athletic Association according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. Over the last 50 seasons starting in 1970, the Keating Natatorium has been home to 40 state championships, and 11 times in the last 20 years, the varsity swim team has been crowned the best team in the nation by the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (NISCA), including the last five consecutive seasons. Numerous U.S. Olympians have been produced over this time period.
With the training and competition home of this swimming dynasty being over 50 years old, the facility needed repairs and renovations which had been put off for many years. The primary challenge associated with any renovations to the facility was the downtime that the pool would be subject to as it would have a significant impact on displacing the high school and Cincinnati Marlins program.
The primary issues identified in the report included the original rapid sand filtration system, which was over 50 years old, ADA access, VGB compliance, the surface water treatment, and recirculation. Finally, there was a very tight, partially excavated crawl space around the pool that is difficult to access safely but is necessary to repair failing deck drainage and replace pool piping.