By Leah Wankum
Merriam residents on Monday got their first detailed look at interior plans for the new $30-plus million community and aquatics center.
At an open house held at city hall, Assistant City Administrator Meredith Hauck gave an overview of initial concepts for the interior layout and design.
The proposed community wing features a number of amenities, including:
- a gallery/ exhibit space
- child watch room
- banquet hall/event space for up to 250 people
- catering kitchen
- a mothers room
- restrooms and storage space.
Hauck said the catering kitchen was designed to also accommodate the Meals on Wheels program.
Proposed plans for office areas include staff office space, an open office area, work room, conference room and break room, a computer server closet and additional storage space.
The proposed lobby and courtyard area includes a gathering space/lounge area, control desk and coffee service space.
Fitness and indoor aquatics
Design concepts for the gym and fitness area include a gym size for a high school (or double middle school gym size), a three-lane elevated walk/jog track, weights and fitness area, office space for fitness staff, storage space, an aerobics/dance studio and classroom space.
The proposed indoor aquatics space includes an office for the lifeguards, pool storage space, support areas for the pool’s mechanical and chemical needs, pool party room, locker rooms and a family changing room. The design committee also recommends adding restroom access off the exterior pool deck as well as installing a retractable wall between the pool party rooms.
Additionally, proposed amenities for the indoor pool include:
- Therapy Pool
- Lazy River
- Zero Depth Entry
- Spray Features
- Family Slide
- Large Slide
- Lap Lanes ‐ Four Lanes, 25 yards
- Open Swim & Play Area
The proposed aquatics program adds 1,477 more square feet of water, for a total of 15,892 square feet between the indoor and outdoor pool areas.
Proposed outdoor aquatics will include:
- 25 Yard
- 8‐lane Pool
- Zero Depth Entry
- 3’6” Pool with Play Features
- Two 1m diving boards
- Terraced seating
The proposal for the outdoor pool also includes a concessions cart. Hauck said the design committee is also planning to add splash features to the open swim area of the outdoor pool. The city will also hope to find room in the budget for an outdoor slide as well.
One resident asked why the new aquatics center doesn’t include a hot tub or sauna. Hauck said the pool was designed with as many residents as possible in mind, and a therapy pool with temperatures of at least 84 degrees will be able to accommodate swimming lessons and gentle aqua therapy for people with injuries and joint problems.