The Deaconess Aquatic Center was born from a vision to create a space that provides swimming amenities for the entire community. The city’s previous indoor pool was no longer in a state to support quality competitive and recreational swimming. The city and community members’ goal was to create a state-of-the-art center for everyone — a place for swimmers of all ages, backgrounds and skill levels to enjoy.
Nestled into Garvin Park, the two-story facility’s front door is situated across from historic Bosse Field. The intentional juxtaposition of the contrasting architectural styles between the two buildings forms an anchor at the entrance to this historic park. The aquatic center’s exterior is a modest building form mixed with a variety of materials — like translucent panels, glass, metals — to add interest and depth. Metals pay tribute to the industrial history of the neighborhood; those with wood tones add warmth.
The aquatic center is divided into two separate areas — competitive and recreational. The Lilly King Competition Pool, dedicated to Evansville native and Olympic gold medalist swimmer Lilly King, is a stretch 50-meter pool where diving and swimming can occur simultaneously. It can accommodate both collegiate and high school swim meets. A large mezzanine holds 960 spectators and provides great views of the entire competition area. Some special amenities of the 16,000 sf pool include 10 lap lanes; two bulkheads that provide numerous pool configurations; a separated diving well; under-deck lane line storage; a state-of-the-art timing system; an on-deck shower; and a custom mural featuring Lilly King.
The 4,000 sf recreational pool has four lap lanes, stair entry, a zero-depth entry area with play features, a basketball goal, and space for swim lessons with a built-in shelf where kids can sit. To top off the fun amenities, a 1,750 sf splash park is located outside, adjacent to this space.