Feature Article - July 2017
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Need Fun? Just Add Water!

Outfitting Your Pool

By Dave Ramont

Time for an Update

In 1969, the town of Ogden, Utah, built identical pools at two of their high schools—Ogden High and Ben Lomond (BL) High, and in 2015 it was time for an update.

"They were both at the end of their lifecycle. It was determined to renovate them to have two different styles to draw a more diverse client," said Darwin Smith, construction and energy manager for the Ogden School District. Ogden High Pool became an eight-lane competition pool and BL Pool opened as a six-lane, more family-friendly pool. The former hosts competitive swim teams and clubs, water polo teams and serious lap swimmers. The latter has swim lessons, aerobics classes and open-family swim time in the evenings. Both pools offer lap swimming in the mornings, and there are pool party rentals on Fridays and Saturdays.

"We promote an open water polo time for the public, setting up nets and lanes used for pick-up matches," Smith said, adding that they also purchased an inflatable amenity. "It's been very popular. We rent the pool for parties and the Action Tower is an add-on. It always gets requested. We also have lifts at each pool. They're popular with the aerobics classes for the older ladies."

Other added amenities include new lockers and private showers, bleachers, sound system, scoreboard with protective nets, tables and chairs for parties, picnic tables with umbrellas, and chaise lounges. At BL Pool, Smith said, "We extended the building to add a swimmer staging area and an outside party patio. The pool has a waterslide and basketball hoop. We have one-meter diving boards at each pool." He added that attendance is up and feedback has been great.

Smith also said they love their new swimsuit wringer, which is one of the products that Clifton was excited about: "Water extractors can extract 95 percent of suit water in just a few seconds, helping to keep your swimming areas and locker rooms water-free."

These models use no heat, and rely on spin-drying. But the tried-and-true hand wringers with steel handle and rubber wringers are still popular, too. Hand and hair dryers with swivel nozzles eliminate paper.

Other locker room amenities include an array of benches and lockers, wall-mounted or back-to-back models. Unbreakable mirrors are a must. To generate extra revenue, there are personal product and disposable diaper dispensers. For showers, locker rooms or around pool areas there are flooring tiles or high-traffic aquatic matting, featuring snap-lock assemblage. The skid-resistant floorings are rubber or polypropylene, typically containing mildew inhibitors. They're self-draining, with air and water passing right through.

Don't Forget Safety

Another crucial, though less visible category, is safety products. There are many types of rescue aids—Shepard's crooks, ring buoys with tow-lines and shoulder harnesses, and rescue poles, hooks and throw ropes. There are spine boards, life vests and life vest racks. Emergency oxygen systems, table resuscitators, first-aid kits and first responder bags are important.

You'll find rescue mannequins—infant, adolescent and adult—for aquatic safety training. And shop for lifeguard supplies and apparel, including megaphones, umbrellas, whistles and binoculars.

Even the simplest products can tip the scales when it comes to someone deciding if they want to visit their local pool. If you haven't visited your local facility in a while to see what's changed, it might be time to grab your suit and take the plunge!