Making a splash

While students were away on winter break the university made progress toward completing the new recreation center by installing the lap pool.

While students were away on winter break the university made progress toward completing the new recreation center by installing the lap pool.

Manufactured in Italy by Rowley International Aquatic Consultants, the pool was delivered by cargo ship through the Panama Canal, up the Columbia River and then trucked to the new recreation center for installation, the PSU Facilities Department said.

The pool is located on the second floor of the recreation center and overlooks Fifth Avenue.

The new pool will be seven feet deep and will weigh in at just over 126,000 pounds once it is filled, according to Facilities. The pool is set on a watertight, 12-inch concrete floor slab. Below the deck of the pool lies a concealed 60-foot water-balancing tank that minimizes the waves from swimming.

“Personnel will have the capability to remotely monitor pool conditions and will receive alerts if conditions are outside the optimal swimming conditions,” said Ernest Tipton, manager of campus space, planning and design for the university.

The university did not specify the exact cost of the pool, including the shipping costs from Italy.

“The pool integrates with many other building systems, and it is difficult to specifically isolate the costs related to the lap pool and shipping,” Tipton said.

However, Tipton noted that the cost for the aquatic walls and equipment, which includes the pool and spa, totaled $618,700.  “All building materials shipping for the project are included in the design-builder’s general conditions, which also includes the costs for the field office, restrooms, phones, storage, scaffolding, weather protection, etc,” he added.

The Myrtha pool is specifically designed for the requirements of large-scale competitive events, according to the manufacturer’s Web site, The company’s pools were used in the 2004 and 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials.

Myrtha pools are made up of a steel base, and the pool walls are prefabricated stainless steel panels. The company says that the use of stainless steel protects better against corrosion and leaking.

According to the Myrtha Pool Web site, their pools are currently used in several universities across the country. Recent installations of Myrtha pools have happened at the University of Florida, Florida State University and the University of Utah. In addition, many hotels have installed Myrtha pools, including the Portland Hilton.

Tipton said that the company is located in the United States, but the manufacturing plant is located in Italy.
“They are the world leader in the type of above-ground pool technology required for this technology,” he said.

With construction expected to be complete by fall term 2009, the new recreation center will house an indoor track, multiple exercise areas, a basketball court, a floor hockey area and a rock climbing gym.