Akron Aquatic Center
Akron, IA | Sports + Recreation
The City of Akron (the City) implemented a community needs identification and design process to determine if there was consensus in supporting renovations to its outdated municipal pool.
The City of Akron’s current pool was built in the 1950's and is rapidly deteriorating with 25,000 - 30,000 gallons of water leaking every two weeks. Constantly filling and treating the new water requires increased chemical usage and additional pool heating costs.
With goals to provide a healthy and safe aquatic environment for Akron residents and visitors, the City enlisted ISG to complete a community needs assessment to evaluate the feasibility of an expanded facility. A public engagement process was integral to discovering community wants versus needs. Representatives from the ISG project team immersed themselves in the local community by attending a farmers market event and baseball game to gather, catalogue, and implement the feedback into the design process. Traditional in-person meetings and an online survey were also used.
Based on the information gathered from the community needs assessment, ISG developed four unique options with various layouts, styles, and uses that the aquatic center could take on. All options included ample amounts of shaded seating areas, greenspace to soften areas in and around the facility, and improved concession, picnic, parking, and sidewalk areas. A combination of traditional and resort-style amenities was selected. Elements included slides, diving boards, and play features along with some non-traditional elements like shade lounging, underwater benches, lily pads, and other modern recreational components.
Cost estimates and dynamic renderings of the final option were presented to the public in an open house format and to the City Council. To assist with fundraising efforts, ISG’s in-house marketing team prepared a direct mail piece for the City to distribute and created three large-format presentation boards to be displayed at high traffic areas to build understanding and consensus for the project.
Currently in the fundraising phase, the project will benefit not only Akron residents, but also the greater community and visitors within a 50-mile radius—positively impacting the quality of life for over 10,000 people each year.