Feature Article - February 2007
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Special Supplement: A Complete Guide to Aquatic Centers

By Jessic Royer Ocken

Locker Room Details

Although the water is certain to be your facility's main attraction, without careful attention, other elements can turn into detractions. An unattractive, not-so-clean or (worst of all) unsafe locker room can quickly put a damper on patrons' experience at your facility.

This is not to say it needs to look like the Shangri-La in there, but just a bit of effort can make a big improvement.

To start with, choose your materials carefully. Opt for non-slip mats if you can't afford all-new floors.

The Midlothian (Ill.) Park District's pool has locker-room improvement on the agenda for the upcoming off-season. They're planning to repaint with a special textured sand paint for improved traction and an overall cleaner look.

If possible, consider plastic components, which are less likely to corrode or succumb to near-constant wetness, or paint metal or wooden surfaces with protective paint.

In most cases, aquatic facilities report that their restrooms are cleaned every night and checked every hour during the day to make sure things are in order—adequate toilet paper, paper towels and soap, no major messes or toilet backup situations. Some larger facilities may even dedicate staff to these duties.

"During the summer we have a full-time locker-room attendant for eight hours a day," noted Tammy Hawkins, aquatics coordinator for the city of Las Vegas. "That's really helped to deter theft and vandalism."

And in addition to just being a presence, this person has a station (in case anyone needs assistance) and may also mop up puddles and keep trash off the ground.