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Making a Splash: Key Principles for Effective Aquatic Center Planning

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Image courtesy of Emmanuel Lelievre on Unsplash

Effective aquatic center planning is essential for creating a space that is both safe and enjoyable for swimmers of all ages. From initial concept development to ongoing management and maintenance, there are many key principles to consider when designing and operating an aquatic center. Read on to learn some of the most important principles to keep in mind when planning your facility. And, if you’re looking for support in managing your aquatic center, SFC is here to help. Our aquatic center management services are designed to help you create a safe and enjoyable swim experience for your customers.

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Safety First

According to Stop Drowning Now, an organization dedicated to drowning prevention, 3,500-4,000 drowning incidents occur each year.  From hiring trained lifeguards to installing proper signage and ensuring that all equipment is up-to-date and working correctly, there are many things to consider when it comes to creating an environment that can prevent drownings at your aquatics facility. Be sure to create and follow clear safety protocols to ensure everyone’s safety in and around the pool. Water park operators, pool management, and other aquatic center management should prioritize safety and ensure that their safety programs and staff training meet or exceed industry standards.


Another crucial factor to consider when designing an aquatic center is accessibility. Customers of all ages and abilities should be able to enjoy the pool. You’ll need to ensure that the pool area is free of any barriers or obstructions that could impede movement or enjoyment. This includes providing proper pool entry options and maintaining a safe environment for less able swimmers. The placement of aquatic amenities such as seating areas, locker rooms, and food & beverage options should be easily accessible to all guests.

Aquatic Center Functionality

Plan the layout and infrastructure of the pool and deck area well. This includes providing sufficient space for swimming lanes and play and activity areas as well as sufficient deck space to accommodate users and equipment. The pool depth and size will depend on its ultimate purpose, whether intended for diving, swimming laps, or leisure activities. Additionally, consulting with expert pool designers, architects, or aquatic center management companies can help the facility function properly with well-planned pool circulation, filtration, and water quality systems. Also consider pool temperature and your pool attendees. Warmer pool temperatures should be considered when you have younger swimmers to make them more comfortable in the water, while competitive swimmers will likely want a cooler water temp.

Aesthetic Appeal

An aquatic center that is visually engaging, modern, and inviting will also be memorable. Every detail, from the tiles in the pool to the design of the pool padding and deck must work together and reflect the brand that the aquatic center represents. This can not only make the space more enjoyable for swimmers of all ages but can also help increase visitors and promote return visits.

Ongoing Management

Finally, long-term management is critical to the success of any aquatic center. Regular maintenance, skimming, cleaning, and maintaining equipment and facilities will help to protect the integrity of the facility, protect customers, and reduce any potential liability. Ongoing communication with management, lifeguard staffing companies, and other stakeholders will help keep the aquatic center running smoothly. SFC offers aquatic center management services aimed at providing year-round staff coverage solutions, facility management, and consulting services to maintain your aquatic center throughout the year.

If you are planning an aquatic center or searching for management solutions, keep these principles in mind to create a safe, enjoyable, and memorable experience for swimmers. With the above principles in mind, you can plan your aquatic center with confidence and go beyond your regular aquatic center management needs.

SFC is a leader in aquatic center management services with customizable solutions to meet all your aquatic center staffing and management needs. Contact us today to find out more about our extensive aquatic center management experience and let us help you bring your aquatic center to life!

Can you add info about what actvities require what pool depths and sizes to add more context to this statement?

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