If you build it, they will swim: World Class K12 Aquatic Center funded by bond

Votes area being cast this month and next on Oklahoma K12 bond issues, and this has us reflecting on KSQ projects that wouldn't have been possible without bond funding. For example, The Jenks Trojan Aquatic Center was made possible by a 2009 bond issue and KSQ, SHW Group and Flintco completed the project in 2011. Since the new center opened it has expanded the school's team, doubled in community swimmers, hosted an NCAA meet and will host Olympic hopefuls next month during the Speedo Champions Series Central Section Region VIII Championship. It's a center that parents requested and bond money made possible. Look back with us and see how we gave the school's highly competitive swimming program an aquatic center worthy of its long tradition of swimming excellence and a school facility with a reputation:

"One word of caution about swimming here though is that it will spoil all your other pool experiences because the pool here is truly world class." ~ Ramblen travel guide
Jenks Aquatic_pool vent picJenks High School has a long-standing tradition of swimming excellence, but the school's swim team was conducting daily workouts in a pool more than 30 years old. After bond funding was secured and the project got a green light, KSQ designed a 1,200-seat aquatic center with a modern design and details as impressive as the athletes that compete there. An Olympic-quality 50-meter competition pool is now in the center and it's the first pool in the nation to feature a system that removes chloramines from the water (allowing swimmers to breathe easier). The 50-meter by 25-yard pool exhausts chloramines from the water's surface through a return air chamber built into the pool's gutter. The Paddock Evacuator gives the pool the healthiest air quality possible and eliminates toxic pollutants that millions of swimmers are exposed to at indoor pool facilities.

"Venues struggling with air quality should make a trip to Jenks to see their unique setup," 45-year veteran swim competitor Stephan Potter told Recreation Management magazine.

The pool also has a state-of-the-art electronic pool timing system and two digital scoreboards. A first of its kind, state-of-the-art indoor pool that doesn't smell like an indoor pool; yes, it's truly world class. With water as the design motif, KSQ incorporated a "breaking wave" roofline, blue "waves" hanging from the lobby ceiling and a "river of glass" viewing area. There are even white "fins" on the roof, which hide pipes and other mechanical equipment. [caption id="attachment_4126" align="aligncenter" width="900"]Jenks Aquatic white fin pic White "fins" creatively serve to hide mechanical equipment on the roof of the natatorium.[/caption] "Our Aquatics Center is outstanding! We are so pleased with the design and function of this facility–and so is the community," said Jenks school board member Anne McCoy. "People from all over the state have commented on the quality of our natatorium...it is first class, open, airy, and beautiful! During the process of building the Aquatics Center, KSQ demonstrated a commitment to continuous improvement of the design and function. We are absolutely delighted with the outcome!" Blue tiles continue the lines of the water feature through the spacious main lobby, which includes an information desk, concession areas, entrance to pools, as well as a lounge and gallery with views to the new pool. Jenks Aquatic lobby pic Jenks Aquatic_lobby second view Spectator seating is on the second level directly above the new locker rooms and restrooms. The seating connects with a catwalk through the lobby to the existing pool's viewing area. Coaches offices and the administration office are located on the second level overlooking the pool. Jenks Aquatic Spectator Seating Here's a short video that shows the natatorium in action: http://vimeo.com/73002633 An efficient lighting system provides illumination for televised events; yet computerized controls keep lights at energy-efficient levels for daily use. The exterior brick veneer and ribbed steel panels make a strong first impression for a project that received a 2012 AIA Design Award and American School and University's Outstanding Design Work in Progress award. The center is home of the Jenks Trojans–multiple winners of Oklahoma State High School Swimming Championships–but shared with the Tulsa Masters Swimming Club, the Jenks Trojan Swim Club, and other competitive programs. Students and parents have been benefiting from this bond project for years, and they're not alone because the center provides community-wide support by hosting water exercise programs, lifeguard training, water safety, and learn-to-swim programs. Learn more about this project: Tulsa People: "In the Swim" Athletic Business: "Jenks Trojan Aquatic Center"