Saturday, March 14, 2009

So what's inside?

Picture of a diving platform from the U of MN pool - highest is 10 meters, the new Aquatic Center can accomodate a 7.5 meter platform (second from the top)
Inside of the U of MN pool - the new Aquatic center will be very similar to this - ceilings not quite as high, and spectators just on one side, but distance and position of pools pretty close to what we will have here!
to link to the U of M pool site:

Question of the day: what exactly is inside this new Aquatics/Wellness center?
Okay, make that Question of the week. Today: the pool area itself.
I've been to a few swim meets in my day - my siblings and I swam competitively for years, and even went to a few Zone and larger meets, so I have a pretty good idea of what makes a good competitition pool. I also have kids - so definitely know what makes a good lesson pool!

#1 - 50 meter pool with diving well - bulkheads at each end slide together to convert to 2x25 yard pools
50 meters is the distance USS swimmers use in the summertime, and is the official "Olympic size" pool. Zone swim meets are summertime meets, so will use the 50 meter pool (bringing 800 age-group swimmers and their families to our city!)
25 yards is the distance for winter USS meets, and both girls and boys high school meets. They also run short course nationals and regional meets in the 25 yard pools. This makes it possible for Bismarck to host dozens of state-caliber meets yearly while the rest of the pool area is still available for lap swimming and lessons.
(The pool is also 25 yards wide so a 3rd configuration could be 3 x 8 lane 25 yard pools or 2 x 8 lanes and an open diving well)

#2 - 25 yard x 6 lane warm pool
This is a primarily recreational (fun and laps) and lesson pool - great for little kids who would get too chilly in the colder, larger pool! This pool is also for aquasize, as it is not nearly as deep as a competition pool. With 50 meters of pool space in the larger pool, this will likely be open to the public most of the time, unless it's full of families and kids for swimming lessons. Warm pools are fabulous for people with arthritis as well as a nice place to get some exercise when you are pregnant (been there, done that!).
(just a plug: I'm also hoping someday they will put a small modular waterslide in there - think the small ones at the Elks pool)

#3 - Diving well - appears to be part of the 50 meter pool
The plan is to have a 7.5 meter diving platform at the highest point of this pool, necessitating a VERY deep pool (think 16-20 feet) - think Olympic diving you've seen on TV. Not as high as the highest 10 meter platform, but high enough to host regional youth diving meets. Depth of the pool lends itself to scuba diving classes!

Above are pictures of the U of M pool - representative of the larger pools used for swim teams and recreation as well.

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