OpenAire’s Newest Project is Epic

OpenAire’s Newest Project is Epic in Nature and in Name and  will be the largest indoor retractable roof waterpark in North America!

A Texan city with the motto “Dream Big, Play Hard” will soon have a community centre and water park that lives up to its slogan. We’re excited to announce that Grand Prairie, Texas has partnered with OpenAire, architecture firm HKS and several other creative and engineering firms to create a public recreation centre and waterpark complex that is so spectacular, it can only be called one name: The Epic.

This massive attraction for visitors and local residents of all ages will sit at the edge of Grand Prairie’s Central Park and features a 62,000-square-foot enclosure which will be North America’s largest retractable roof waterpark. Designed in partnership with the architectural team HKS, construction of The Epic will kick off on Saturday, October 17, 2015 with an exciting “GrandBreaking”event for the whole community. OpenAire, HKS, Ramaker and the other design and engineering team members are ready to have some fun and get started on this Epic project.

The Epic water park will be one of our most ambitious projects to date, yet our expert team is eager and ready to take it on. The Grand Prairie Project team led by Deputy City Manager Tom Cox, Director Parks and Recreation Rick Herold, and Sr. Superintendent of Park Planning Tim Shinogle, knew that a retractable roof was the solution to making this waterpark an all-seasons facility. OpenAire will build an incredible free-standing aluminum structure with polycarbonate-roof panels and glass walls that makes a bold impression, yet connects beautifully with the rest of the centre’s design. The graceful arched roof will span 160 ft. wide and be 384 ft. long and will link seamlessly with the adjacent restaurant, office, retail, arcade, party room, change-room and shower/wc facilities designed with the HKS architectural team. The result will be an open, light, bright and vibrant environment that will house the park’s Epic selection of rides and attractions.

The design will include 18 retractable bays along each side of the roof’s apex that will let in the sunshine and fresh air of hot summer days, while closing securely at the touch of a button during colder or rainy days. Reaching further beyond these heights will be a 83-foot-high cupola housing the park’s slides. The top of the cupola will also feature two retractable roof panels to open up the slide tower to ensure riders don’t overheat at this high elevation.  Included in the park will be the longest indoor lazy river in Texas, the tallest Aqualoop in the USA, the world’s first boomerango and constrictor combination slide and the first two passenger Aquasphere in the USA. The full effect of the enclosure will be a huge, soaring space that provides Epic entertainment year round.

OpenAire’s signature thermally-broken aluminum framing system and glazed polycarbonate roof panels will stand up to the excess moisture and pool chemicals found in typical waterparks, meaning the city won’t have to manage the traditional ongoing issues of rust and corrosion maintenance. The retractable roof panels also allow in plentiful sunlight and breezes, reducing the need for lighting and air conditioning by approximately 27% (compared to traditional enclosures). This translates to a substantial savings on operating costs and a winning design for the municipal owners, guests and staff alike.

The OpenAire enclosure is expected to be onsite in May 2016, with a completion date in the Spring of 2017. The waterpark will be open to the public Memorial Day, May 29th 2017. The full Epic complex will include an outdoor wave pool adjacent to the waterpark, 3.5 acres of outdoor recreational space, a massive entertainment grand “lawn”for concerts and events, as well as a fitness centre, exercise rooms, large indoor and outdoor play areas, an amphitheatre, library and more, making it a “mega recreation centre,” as Grand Prairie Mayor Ron Jensen describes it.

Once it is completed, The Epic will be an amazing landmark in the Grand Prairie community, serving as a great accessible recreational space for the local public, and revenue generating opportunity for the community.

The October 17th ground breaking will bring the community residents together to celebrate their city. City officials will join with representatives of OpenAire, HKS, Lee Lewis Construction, Ramaker Inc., American Resort Management and other corporate and creative partners as they dig in to begin this grand undertaking. It’s sure to be a great start to a truly Epic project, and we at OpenAire look forward to working with our partners in the Grand Prairie community every step of the way. Here’s to Epic accomplishments!

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