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Building a large community pool where land stability is an issue

The builders

The top of the drilled piers after concrete was poured into the hole and left to cure.

Acapulco Pools of Kitchener, Ont., worked with RCS Construction, a general contractor in Rapid City, to design/build this new facility. All construction crew members involved had to endure winter temperatures to complete the yearlong project which started in October 2014. Concrete was only poured when temperatures were above 4.4 C (40 F). While based in Canada, Acapulco Pools made good use of local workers as much as possible. It is impractical to send every worker to an out-of-country jobsite, while at the same time, it does not support the local economy where the project is located. That said, Acapulco Pools typically sends a foreman to oversee the project, and throughout the job sends other foreman specific to their trade and the work that needs to be performed at the time. Whether it is the plumbing system, tiling work, or general concrete labour, Acapulco Pools hires as many local trades as possible to help with the job. This is done by hiring through the local union hall, if one exists in the area, or by hiring workers on a temporary basis.

RCS Construction was responsible for the new pool house, housing the change rooms, lifeguard offices, mechanical room, etc. They also completed the demolition of the existing pool, as well as 
the construction of the drilled piers beneath the pool and landscaping. Once the drilled piers were completed, Acapulco Pools then started to construct the two new pool structures.

The pools

The new pools at Horace Mann Park were designed and built to appeal to a variety of pool goers. The lap pool is 25 m (82 ft) in length with a 3.6-m (12-ft) deep end which includes a diving board, rock-climbing wall, and waterslide plunge area. It is a gutter pool, which means the water flows over the top edge of the pool wall and down into a gutter or trench where it makes its way to the filtration and sanitizing systems.

The 25-m (82-ft) length is important, as it enables the pool to be used for competitive swim practices and competitions. While it is not a 50-m (164-ft) Olympic pool, it still adds value to the complex and provides some competitive venue features. Diving boards have long been a staple of a typical aquatic facility, and they will continue to be, as many can remember how fun and exhilarating it is to jump off into the pool. A 1-m (3-ft) dive stand and diving board were installed at this facility.

Climbing walls are a relatively new feature found in today’s aquatic facilities. Users climb up the mock rock wall as high as they are able, and then jump off into the water. These types of climbing walls are becoming increasingly popular for new pool construction, as well as being retrofitted to existing pools. All that is required of the pool is sufficient deck space and water depth, which most pools can accommodate. The lap pool also includes additional gaming features such as a removable basketball hoop and volleyball net. Permanent anchor points were embedded into the deck for these features which allow them to be easily installed or removed.

The vortex pool is 7.3 m (24 ft) in diameter and is connected to the rest of the pool via an opening. It has water propulsion jets that create a vortex effect, letting bathers float around in a circle.

Finally, the waterslide plunge zone drops bathers 
2 m (6 ft) into the pool at the end of the waterslide. This may not sound like much of a drop, but it is just enough to put a bit of suspense into the riders’ hearts before they splash into the water. This is not a ride for those who are unable to swim on their own; however, it is one of those rides kids will strive to 
be able to go on. Two other waterslides were also installed that end with a runout which brings riders to a stop. These slides are suitable for non-swimmers.

The recreation pool also features a creative design approach when compared to the old rectangular pool. This pool’s footprint is the furthest thing from a rectangle. It uses curves instead and features a beach-entry design which gradually leads up to its deepest point of 0.3 m (1 ft) where a huge playground structure is located.

This is another common design trend amongst new pools for many reasons. It is great for young children who are new to walking and just learning about water.

Beach entries also permit those who are in a wheelchair to easily access these aquatic features without feeling alienated from their peers. A pool lift was also installed on the lap pool to easily transport bathers who may be in a wheelchair or unstable on their feet into and out of the pool.

The recreation pool also features a mountain slide suitable for preschoolers, and a splash 
pad feature where buckets fill with water that randomly empty onto unsuspecting children. Ground geysers and a side winder toy also spray water in a circular motion.

The other half of the recreation pool is geared toward older kids and adults, as it is deeper and includes in-pool benches and a vortex pool. The vortex pool is 7.3 m (24 ft) 
in diameter and is connected to the rest of the pool via an opening. It has water propulsion jets that create a vortex effect, letting bathers float around in a circle.

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