New Huntsville Aquatics Center offers ultimate #GoPlayHsv

July 6, 2017

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The City’s new $22 million Huntsville Aquatics Center opened today on Drake Avenue with a ceremonial “dive-in” and open house. The stunning new 90,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility features three large pools, new restrooms, conference and hospitality space, offices and concessions, 264 parking spaces and a new terrace overlooking the Brahan Spring Park lagoon.

The Aquatics Center opened just in time for this weekend’s 52nd annual Rocket City Swim League City Swim Meet and, later this month, the USA Swimming Southeastern Championships.

With the addition of the new 50 meter competition pool to the original Legacy pool, the City will have two Olympic size pools for competition use and the largest spectator seating capacity in the state. The new Instructional pool, which opened earlier this year, provides warm water therapy and a handicapped access ramp into the water. It replaces the therapy pool at the Jim Williams Aquatic Center.


“Years ago, we listened to the public tell us we needed to renovate and expand our swimming facilities, and this is the grand result you see today,” said Mayor Tommy Battle. “We decided to do this right and we put the project in our capital plan to build a facility that would serve our residents well and make our community proud.”


Architectural design for the Aquatic Center with Nola VanPeursem Architects began in January 2015. The firm worked to address a long wish list of amenities desired by users and produced a plan that is high-tech and beautiful. After a two year, staged construction period (to keep the Legacy pool in use), the public can now dive right in.

“The completion of the Instructional Pool and Competition Pool mark an extremely proud moment for the Department and the City in our dedication to not only Huntsville Aquatics, but aquatics as an accessible form of recreation. This incredible facility will enable us to serve more people than ever, with additional meet potential, classes and swim lessons,” said Steve Ivey, Director of Parks & Recreation.

Architectural plans for the phase 2 renovations, the Legacy pool, are under way and will include an additional 500 spectator seats for a total seating capacity of 2,000.

Fast Facts

  • Three pools: The Competition Pool (new), the Instructional Pool (new) and the Legacy Pool (existing), all connected by a bright and spacious new lobby
  • New 50 Meter, 7 foot deep Competition Pool with seating for 1,400 spectators; Colorado Timing System and two display boards, Spectrum starting blocks; water temperature is 82 degrees for public swim, 72 degrees for competition
  • New men’s and women’s locker rooms with 27 showers
  • New Instructional pool is 75 feet long by 36 feet wide. It is 3 feet deep at the shallow end ramping down to 7’ deep at the deep end with handicap accessible ramp and stair entries. Includes a bench at one side of the pool with massage jets. 4 Family Changing Rooms with Access to the Instructional Pool; water temperature is kept at 90 degrees
  • It will take 754,000-plus gallons of water to fill the two new pools
  • There are more than 1,330,000 gallons of water in the complex, including the Legacy Pool. Total water weight is about 11 million pounds
  • To fill the pools with a standard garden hose, it would take 2 ½ months of running the water around the clock
  • 56,409 square feet of new construction
  • Two workers involved in this project – Lucky Bryant and Robert Morgan – were also involved in the construction of the old Brahan Spring Natatorium 42 years ago. Morgan is one of the project superintendents
  • Design and Construction Team: City of Huntsville General Services, Nola VanPeursem Architects, Pearce Construction, PEC Structural, Mims Engineering, Johnson and Associates and Counsilman-Hunsaker Designers. The founder of the latter is the late coach James “Doc” Counsilman, a two-time Olympic coach and six-time NCAA

Read more about today’s grand opening on City Blog:

Aquatics Center makes a splash debut

Huntsville earns Gold Medal with Aquatics Center

It’s full circle for swimming star Chris O’Neil