OpenAire designs a spacious glass enclosure to top off Pocahontas, Arkansas’ innovative new aquatic center
A comfortable town in Randolph County, Arkansas now has a beautiful place to exercise and enjoy watery fun, thanks to the cutting-edge, 13,300-square-foot Pocahontas, Arkansas Aquatic Center. Carl Menyhart of ETC Engineers in Little Rock worked with OpenAire to create a customized double-slope enclosure measuring 91 ft. by 147 ft. to house the center’s two pools and other facilities. This open structure not only provides clear views of the town and skies but also features 18 operable sliding windows and 14 retractable roof sliders that let in the sunshine and breezes of warm days, creating a truly outdoor feeling for swimmers of all ages to enjoy. In cooler or inclement weather, the windows are closed and the motorized roof sliders close at the touch of a button, ensuring guests get the perfect aquatic experience all year long.
The town of Pocahontas, in the northeast corner of The Natural State, planned the new Aquatic Center to enhance the health, fitness, recreational, and competitive needs of the region. With this in mind, the center was designed to include two large swimming pools: one full-sized pool for sports, competition, and fitness; and another for wellness, therapy, and recreation. Sheltering both of these pools is OpenAire’s huge, soaring enclosure, standing 14 feet high at the sidewalls and rising to 29 feet at the highest center peak. This expansive, glass-walled structure gives swimmers the feeling of being outdoors while providing shelter and allowing everyone to enjoy the facility in any weather.
“This new Aquatic Center is sure to draw a lot of positive attention from the Pocahontas community,” says Mark Albertine, President and CEO of OpenAire, “Our team’s design brings in all the light and openness of an outdoor pool, along with the shelter and security of an indoor pool. The nine large bays on either side with sliding windows along with the retractable roof panels give an active feeling to the pool area and also make space seem truly open to the elements in fair weather. It’s a unique design that the people of Randolph County will love.”
The attractive and functional enclosure also creates significant long-term savings for the Pocahontas Arkansas Aquatic Center compared to a traditional structure. The light-weight, thermally-broken aluminum frame is corrosion-proof, resisting chlorine from the pools and requires no maintenance. The open roof regulates humidity effectively, reducing the need for dehumidification systems. The structure also lets in ample sunlight and fresh air in fair conditions, cutting down the need for lighting, heating, and/or air-conditioning. These features add up to an energy savings of approximately 27% for the Town of Pocahontas. The combination of beautiful architecture with functional and efficient design is sure to make the Pocahontas Arkansas Aquatic Center a major hit with the whole community.