Update: We are excited to announce this project won Best Project, Sports/Entertainment Category for Engineering News-Record’s 2023 Best Project Awards. Congratulations all participants who made this project special!
The opening of the new Las Cruces Recreational Aquatic Center Community Competition Pool marks a significant milestone for local leaders and the swimming community. This new 36,536 sq ft aquatic facility includes an Olympic-sized swimming pool, lobby and ticketing area, spectator seating, and locker rooms. Boasting a sleek design and views of the Organ Mountains, the new natatorium provides cutting-edge facilities that enhance performance, safety, and spectator experience.
Certified for World Records
Located directly adjacent to the existing Regional Aquatic Center complex, the facility houses a 50 by 25-meter pool with ten competition lap lanes. It is certified by USA Swimming to comply with racing course regulations. Additionally, the starting blocks installed are engineered for optimal push-off power. Each block is adjustable and has built-in timing systems for accurate timekeeping.
Advanced Filtration and Water Treatment
Maintaining pristine water quality for the 750,000 gallons in the pool is crucial for the health and well-being of swimmers. This facility includes advanced filtration and water treatment systems to clean the water while also minimizing the use of chemicals. UV disinfection technology and an automated chlorinating system provide a safe and hygienic swimming environment.
The natatorium not only caters to the needs of swimmers, but also enhances the spectator experience. Features include elevated seating areas, large windows showcasing the Organ Mountains, and video display boards.
Inclusivity and Accessibility
While the facility enables professional-level competition, it was also designed to allow swimmers of all ages and abilities to engage in the sport. Accessibility features, which were a continuing priority for the City of Las Cruces, include pool lifts and accessible changing rooms. These inclusive design principles mean all local swimmers can enjoy the health and wellness benefits of swimming.
Experienced Pool Designers & Subcontractors
The team was comprised of experienced pool designers, engineers, and subcontractors. The designers’ and engineers’ expertise ensured that the pool meets the necessary specifications and regulations for competitive swimming. During construction, pool subcontractor Wescon worked in lockstep by bringing in different specialty crews to complete each sequence of the pool. These trades included pool tile setters, shotcrete professionals, and rebar teams.
The design and aesthetics of the Las Cruces Community Competition Pool were key in creating a source of pride for the community, swimmers, and spectators. The nature of the competition pool called for specific requirements and regulations, but the design team went beyond function and incorporated elements throughout to create a memorable and enjoyable facility.
Advanced Pool Design
This pool was programmed and designed specifically for the City of Las Cruces. The architect, engineers, and aquatic consultant worked diligently to confirm site conditions, pool size/depth, starting blocks, and water/ filtration systems. Thoughtful research and planning went into the facility’s interior lighting. The team worked to minimize reflective glare on the surface of the water through light positioning, exacting LED fixtures, and controls engineering.
The exterior windows feature vertical decorative aluminum blue fins, which invoke the movement and aesthetic of water. The fins also protect against New Mexico’s extreme weather conditions and offer shading over the floor-to-ceiling natatorium windows. This well-devised design element highlights the openness and interplay between the building’s interior and exterior.
While the functionality of the facility is the most important, aesthetics and end-user experience played a key role in the design of the building. Throughout the facility, you will find custom signage and wall graphics that embody aquatic and swimming visuals. The locker room and bathroom areas have a clean yet inviting appeal, communicated through decorative white and blue tiles and white space throughout. When you step into the natatorium, the overall atmosphere breeds the feeling of professional competitive swimming and pride.
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