In 2008, voters authorized LISD to spend the round figure of $19.5 million of their school property taxes to build a natatorium. Six years and three school administrations later, the project was completed with an under budget final cost of $200,000 less than anticipated.
Dr. Quintin Burnett, LISD’s Chief Financial Officer, commented that this was an incredible accomplishment, especially given the not unusual cost over runs for many school construction projects! He gave substantial credit to Michael Perry, LISD’s Executive Director for New Construction, and to MYRTHA, the architectural firm responsible for this Colorado Springs design package.
The spectacular new Lewisville ISD Natatorium is a “state of the art” swimming facility. LISD serves 13 communities. This centrally located facility is south of FM 3040 at the intersection of Duncan Lane (approximately a mile west of Vista Ridge Mall.) It shares lighted parking facilities with Lewisville High School’s Harmon Campus (9th and 10th grade), so availability of parking is rarely a problem for practices or at swimming meets.
The seating is excellent with a maximum capacity of 1200 spectators. The tiered seats provide excellent visibility of the multiple pools and lanes and diving boards (natatoriums at Mansfield and Rockwall can only accommodate 1,000 spectators each.) Southern Methodist University anticipates holding its collegiate swim meets in this premier facility! Three LISD high school swim teams use the pools: Flower Mound, Lewisville, and Marcus. In addition, Lakeside Aquatic Club (LAC) also rents the facilities for practice and meets. Residents within the LISD district can rent 31 individual lanes for a fixed fee per hour or work out in the Warm Pool which stays at a comfortable 88 degrees Fahrenheit. The Warm Pool is also the teaching pool for small children and senior workouts.
The facility uses 1.3 million gallons of water, monitored totally by computers. Chemicals are set up each morning and then re-checked four times each day. The water passes through ultra violet lights, which reduces the burning to swimmers’ eyes. The huge pool has multiple floating dividers, which allows a variety of configurations into a flexible number of swimming lanes and lengths of lanes.
The diving pool has two one meter (low) diving boards and two three meter (12-15’ high) diving boards. There is no high diving platform due to the liability risk to LISD for injuries to divers from such a height. 48 inch diameter aluminum heating/ air conditioning ducts keep temperature in the building comfortable in all seasons and remove the incredible amount of moisture generated by an actively used pool of this enormous size.
Shannon Gillespie is the Facility Director. She has been with LISD for 21 years and said her responsibility for the natatorium is definitely a “labor of love”. The facility was designed for ease of use by both swimmers and their attending family members. Every regular swimmer has a locker in the locker room and there are swim suit dryers and multiple outlets for blow dryers for hair. Restrooms have no paper towels, but only air dryers for hands. There are no carpets in the facility to facilitate ease of sanitary cleaning. No carpets also minimize the possibility of staph infections in such a humid atmosphere.
There are three concession areas to provide meals for both swimmers and their attending family members and at swimming events. And there are multiple wi fi connections in the stands, so that swimmers can better utilize their time to study school assignments between lap practices and chauffeuring family members can also be productive while they wait through lengthy practice sessions. There is both a weight room and a yoga room for swimmers’ conditioning exercises. The weight room has a rubber floor to cushion the impact of dropped weights. No less than 52 toilets provide for both swimmers and other guests to the facility.
The natatorium is now both a renting entity and offers lessons for all US Aquatic Sports, which include water polo, synchronized swimming, diving, and masters swimming for over 18 year old adults.