Kaukauna Municipal Pool Master Plan 2021
Kaukauna Pool Master Plan Overview
In early 2020, the City retained Parkitecture + Planning, LLC to assess the existing aquatic center and develop a Master Plan for the facility moving forward into the future. The existing facility was constructed in 1991 and is a popular destination for Kaukauna residents and nearby community members. Due to the age of the complex, the City realized it was time to evaluate current and future repair costs versus replacement of existing facilities, to ensure the best use is made of public funding. Before any decisions could be made, the City elected to step back and take a comprehensive look at the entire site to assess the potential for expanded seasonal usage, revenue opportunities, and additional recreational amenities.
Several prior assessments were completed on the buildings and mechanical systems – all reaching the same conclusion. The existing concessions/mechanical building envelope is in acceptable shape, but the concessions area is extremely cramped and has limited space for workers, freezers, and storage, and has an undersized serving window. The pool pumps and filtration systems within the mechanical area are at the end of their useful lifespan, and in need of replacement. Operation of the existing DE (diatomaceous earth) filtration system is hazardous to employee health, and it is outdated technology for exterior aquatic environments. These systems also require a high level of maintenance and water consumption.
The main pool building interior is inefficient and no longer meets the needs or expectations of visitors and staff. Patron flow through the locker rooms is awkward, staff sightlines are limited, and there is an abundance of wasted and inefficient space. Staff/lifeguard areas are not well designed and result in lack of privacy and cramped quarters. The concrete floors do not drain well to floor drains, creating slip and fall hazards. There are extensive ADA compliance issues, including non-compliant restroom facilities, showers, and counter window heights. The existing building also exhibits several areas of structural cracking and envelope damage. This is most evident in the south-west corner of the main pool house and has resulted in substantial differential settling. Most importantly, the number of toilet, lavatory, and urinal fixtures available for patron use are significantly below current code requirements, with no capability for expansion. If additional pool areas are added, new restroom facilities will need to be constructed to meet current code requirements.
The existing pool vessel (shell) is in good functional condition and has historically met the needs for programming, lessons, and open swim. A large slide tower is constructed into the hillside and provides a unique rider experience. Three diving boards are located in the deep well at the east end of the pool. The western end of the single pool vessel is comprised of a zero depth entry(beach style) with a small tot slide and mushroom spray feature. These elements are outdated and in need of replacement with modern play equipment.
The concrete pool deck itself is in good condition, with significant landscaping. There are several elevated wood deck platforms popular with visitors, but in poor condition. Support posts have heaved, leading to uneven deck areas, and the wooden railings and decking have rotted areas in need of replacement. The location and elevation of the decks also impedes patron circulation, overall visibility, and are not ADA compliant.
Timeline and Process
The City staff and consultant team worked with a pool steering committee comprised of current and former pool staff, elected officials, the Mayor, and community residents. Over a period of 12 months, the collaborative team worked through the existing facility assessment, collected public input via stakeholder outreach and survey, conducted regular design review meetings, and developed concepts for the redevelopment.
The initial effort was focused on a renovation of the existing pool buildings to update the mechanical systems and concessions area, increase restroom fixture counts to meet current minimum requirements, and improve the interior efficiency for both patrons and staff. Several conceptual options were presented along with cost ranges for construction. Upon review of this information, the decision was made by the Board of Public Works in the fall of 2020 to abandon the renovation of the existing buildings in favor of constructing a new single building to provide modern technology, patron comfort, staff and first aid accommodations, larger concession offering, and a four season rentable meeting/event space. The new layout drastically improves patron flow and security, and allows facility operators great control over security, maintenance, and daily facility operations. This design also provides the ability to utilize the revenue generating areas such as the concessions and four season room as support facilities for the new day use area of the park.
Inside the pool facility fence, recommendations range from site based improvements, to deck enhancements, to replacement and addition of aquatic play features in the vessel. Site based improvements include removal of all raised deck platforms to bring the facility into ADA compliance, reconfiguration of the seating areas and addition of new shaded family seating zones, a yard game area, and rentable shade structures. A second slide can be added to the existing tower and discharge into the existing pool vessel along the south wall elevation requiring only minor site and mechanical improvements. The old tot slide and mushroom should be replaced with a modern modular play structure. This new structure will be able to utilize the existing piping feeding the old outdated mushroom. A climbing wall can be added to the south edge of the deep well to provide an enhanced attraction for older children, teens, and adults.
The redevelopment plans recognize the potential for a greatly expanded usage season for the park itself. The addition of a new day use area outside of the pool fence will allow for shoulder season use of the splashpad without the need for extensive lifeguard staffing. Patron access is granted via the main pool entry with a dedicated gate setup. This also allows for use of the concession serving window even during non-pool season. During the summer pool season, the fencing/gates can be flipped to allow for pool deck access and a fully controlled aquatic environment. The day use area also includes a mini-golf course, rentable shelters, yard game area, and small restroom/mechanical hut. A new vehicular drop off zone and dedicated ADA parking stalls replace the existing small parking lot and provide drastically improved pedestrian access from all directions.
Parkitecture + Planning has provided the City with some preliminary cost estimations. These cost estimations are based on the most recent versions of the site plan and floor plan shown at the top of this page. Because more detailed decisions must be made on the specifics of the project during the design process and because more accurate costs won’t be known until the bidding process, a range of $4,355,000 – $5,265,000 is the current estimated cost range.