Facility Profile - September 2010
Find a printable version here

Aquatic Enhancement

Memorial Pool in Pasco, Wash.

By Monique Thibodeaux, ORB Architects

The facility's rundown bathhouse was in need of serious rehabilitation—it didn't meet ADA accessibility requirements, and the floor, walls, configuration and fixtures all were in need of upgrading. With an open roof over the dressing areas, the building was exposed to the elements of the weather, including harsh wintertime snow, which accelerated the degradation.

With the budget being the main constraint, the design team evaluated numerous possibilities for injecting new life into the facility, including evaluating changes that would improve both the operating performance and appeal of the facility.

The most economical, efficient and effective solution for the main pool was presented by Myrtha Pools, a company that specializes in aquatic technology combining stainless steel and PVC technology together. Myrtha's "state-of- the-art" system was developed specifically for the refurbishment of existing concrete pools. The renovation process includes the walls, the floor and an overflow gutter using the same materials as used on new permanent facilities. The city of Pasco selected the aquatic technology company's classic PVC overflow gutter system for Memorial Pool, which brought the existing facility up to today's world standard of gutter design. The project allowed for minimal demolition to the existing concrete shell of the pool. Every component was staged on site and was part of an efficient and speedy installation.

The existing walls of the pool were covered with panels, which were attached with a technique suited toward the existing condition of the concrete. This specific technique allowed for minimal loss of pool length. The Myrtha panels used a hard bond PVC, which was collandered on to high-strength stainless steel. The walls are smooth, but not slippery and are resistant to icing and temperatures up to 104 degrees. They are sanitized to prevent growth of algae and microbes and comply with the most stringent requirements of swimming pools in the state of Washington. The materials that were used enabled perfect waterproofing, efficient installation and low maintenance for years to come.

The floor at the new Memorial Pool is covered with a special reinforced PVC, which is heat-welded on the existing pool floor. The Myrtha Alkor 2000 membrane is not to be confused with a traditional swimming pool liner typical of residential pools as it is specifically manufactured for commercial swimming pools. Like the wall panels, the floor system is smooth but not slippery, weather resistant and has the same characteristics and long-term life benefits as the wall panels.

The overflow, flush-deck-level gutter (also known as a roll-out gutter because of the ease with which swimmers can exit the pool) selected was to replace the scum gutter with an elevated curb. The gutter now plays a key role in not only the mechanical and filtration system of the pool. This change also resulted in an additional 18 inches of depth, which was an improvement to competitive swimming conditions and, combined with a 1-meter diving board was enough to provide safe diving. This provided an entirely new aesthetic.