Feature Article - June 2008
Find a printable version here


The Deep End

A Look at Trends in Aquatic Facilities

The past couple of decades have seen aquatic facilities move from lap swimming and traditional rectangular pools to more leisure-focused facilities, and this year's survey reflected that the trend is continuing, with more facilities planning to add fun amenities like waterslides, splash play areas and water play structures, and with leisure swim time being the most popular program provided at aquatic facilities across the board.

More than half (51.6 percent) of respondents indicated that their facilities included an aquatic component of some type. (See Figure 34.) These respondents were asked to answer additional questions on the survey dealing specifically with the aquatic components of their facilities. We are including that information within this section.

Of the respondents who said their facilities included an aquatic component, more than three out of five (61.4 percent) said they included outdoor aquatic facilities, while just over half (54.3 percent) included indoor aquatics. Nearly a quarter (22.7 percent) said they had a splash playground, and 10.6 percent indicated that they included a waterpark.

Indoor and outdoor aquatic centers, pools and splash playgrounds were found in facilities of all types, with nearly 45 percent of respondents with aquatic facilities reporting that they represent a parks and recreation department. Another 14.9 percent said they represented a college or university, and nearly 10 percent worked for a health, fitness or sports club. YMCAs, YWCAs and JCCs were also represented by nearly 10 percent of respondents who indicated their facilities included aquatics. (See Figure 35.)