Planning for the Future of Columbia’s Aquatics

Over the next 10-20 years, the demographics in our area are expected to change dramatically. Because of this prediction, the Columbia Association (CA) has been developing an Aquatics Master Plan this past year to help ensure that we can continue to meet the aquatics needs of our ever-changing community. We are now nearing the end of the project and are in the process of finalizing the master plan.

For those of you who don’t know, the final master plan will document the existing conditions of CA’s aquatics venues, assess the future needs of the community and make recommendations for future investments and enhancements of our aquatics facilities and associated programs.

A large part of the master plan process has been community engagement. We reached out to aquatics experts for information about the trends occurring in pool construction, enhancement features and programming. CA consulted with ten aquatics management experts; nationally-recognized consultants; aquatics design professionals; and recreation and aquatics association staff members. In addition, CA also conducted interviews with three other communities–two planned communities (Reston, Va., and The Woodlands, Tx.) and one jurisdiction (Portland, Ore.). The result was a scan of what’s going on around the country related to aquatics facilities; the results of which were put into a CA-published document, Aquatics Industry Trend Report.

In addition to the thoughts and opinions of aquatics experts, we also took time to listen to residents and CA pool users. We established an Aquatics Master Plan Task Force, made up of community members, to advise and provide guidance to CA team members on the development of the plan. We also created an Aquatics Commenting Tool and hosted public meetings and workshops to educate the community on the master plan process.

Learn additional details about the Aquatics Master Plan and view the draft plan online at


— Written by Aria White


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