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Oklahoma City's MAPS-funded senior center to feature 'hybrid' pool

Designers of Oklahoma City’s senior aquatics center have incorporated features to promote socializing, fitness and healthy habits.
by William Crum Modified: August 28, 2014 at 2:00 pm •  Published: August 27, 2014

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The first MAPS 3 senior aquatics center is being described as a socially engaging space that will be “light, bright and energetic.”

Architects and consultants on Wednesday gave a MAPS 3 advisory committee a look at plans for the 40,000-square-foot center, to be built next to Putnam City Baptist Church at NW 112 and Rockwell Avenue.

The centerpiece is a warm-water “hybrid” pool about half the size of an Olympic swimming pool, fit for activities from water aerobics to lap swimming.

Opportunities to socialize were central to the design, said Doug and Ellen Gallow of Lifespan Design Studio in Loveland, Ohio.

A social wing includes a lobby, coffee bar and cafe, arts and crafts studio, billiard and game room, and meeting rooms including one with space for up to 120 people, with doors opening onto a garden.

Fitness facilities include the pool and a gymnasium with walking track, workout room, aerobics studio and locker rooms.

Space for preventive health care services is drawn in off the lobby, which includes seating and a library for socializing.

The exterior will be finished in brick and fiber cement panels with stone accents, said architect Ryan Eshelman of GSB architects and planners in Oklahoma City.

He characterized the design as “invigorating and inviting” with natural light and shaded spaces outdoors.

“Senior centers should not look like nursing homes,” Eshelman said.

Although exercise may not be the first priority for many visitors, the design offers “lots of opportunities to walk people into that healthy lifestyle,” he said.

Safety is paramount, with security cameras throughout the complex.

Parking spaces will be within 300 feet of the door, with a curbless design to reduce trip hazards and walkways to save pedestrians from having to walk behind cars as drivers back out.

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by William Crum
OU and Norman High School graduate, formerly worked as a reporter and editor for the Associated Press, the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, and the Norman Transcript. Married, two children, lives in Norman.
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