Vanderbilt University retained Counsilman-Hunsaker to provide an assessment of the pool at the Vanderbilt Recreation and Wellness Center. A site visit was completed on November 18, 2020. The purpose of this site visit was to evaluate the existing competition pool, its respective mechanical and chemical treatment systems and to report any areas that were substandard in preparation for a potential renovation of the natatorium and adjacent spaces.
The natatorium opened in 1990 and consists of one body of water, a 16-lane 25-yard competitive swimming pool that is 114 feet long and 75 feet wide. The pool provides various water depths, with one end having shallow water with a limited depth of 3’-6", which is more suitable for physical education classes, recreation, and swim instruction. The remaining half of the pool being deeper water up to 10’-0" in the deep end.
The need for a comprehensive analysis of the pool, equipment, and natatorium arose after numerous issues with the pool’s operating system and appearance became concerning to the facility staff. Pool and maintenance staff have been looking at the building enclosure, which has issues with a compromised vapor barrier that has allowed moisture to migrate through the building walls generating efflorescence staining on the external brick walls. These issues prompted Vanderbilt University to consider the need for repairs or a comprehensive renovation if it was determined that the pool would need to remain operational for another 30+ years. An opinion of probable construction cost was provided for recommended repairs which will bring the pools up to current industry swimming pool design standards.
Along with the list of recommendations for repairing the physical issues with the pool, a functional evaluation was also performed as the University wants to continue to offer an aquatic amenity for its students and make the best use of the capital dollars allocated to the swimming pool. Counsilman-Hunsaker developed three different scenarios for the University to consider for the future of the swimming pool. A cost estimate has been developed for the Option 3 scenario to detail the costs associated with the demolition and construction of two new bodies of water.