A for Athlete


  • City in eastern Pennsylvania


$31M pool complex eyed[]

For competition, therapy and recreation at Burle park

Intelligencer Journal Lancaster New Era Updated Oct 19, 2011
  • [1]A rendering of the planned $31 million aquatic center at Burle Industrial Park in Lancaster [2]

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Oct 19, 2011 by Cindy Stauffer,Staff Writer

A trio of local developers plans to build a unique $31 million facility that would house 10 indoor and outdoor pools for competition, therapy and recreation at Burle Business Park in Lancaster.

TLC Aquatic Center, to open in fall 2013, would offer pools for children taking their first swimming lessons, families paddling about in the summer sun, competitive swimmers racing the clock and seniors doing aquatic physical therapy, according to the developers' plans.

"It needs to be a place where everyone feels comfortable in the water," said Susan Wallover, president of Wallover Aquatics and one of the three developers.

The other principals in the project are Wallover's husband, Edwin Wallover III, president of Wallover Architects, and Andrew Woolley, president of The Woolley Group.

The TLC (an acronym for therapy, leisure and competition) center would be situated on a 4.4-acre tract in the northern part of the Burle park, bordered by New Holland Avenue and Pleasure Road.

The 145,000-square-foot, two-story center also would house a full-service restaurant, a health food bar, retail spaces and offices for medical or wellness services, such as physical therapy.

Its centerpiece would be a 50-meter competition pool, which would have two movable bulkheads, or dividing walls. It would range in depth from 9 to 13 feet.

The pool could be used by high school and college teams. The center also plans to host a USA Swimming-sanctioned program for swimmers.

There is a need for additional competition pools in the county, the developers believe. Only one high school, Manheim Township, has its own pool that it uses for meets. Others rent space, which is in demand.

The competition pool would be deep enough for springboard diving and would feature both 1-meter and 3-meter boards. Its depth also would allow for water polo matches and synchronized swimming.

The competition pool would be adjacent to a four-lane warm-up/cool-down pool.

An adjoining seating gallery would be able to hold up to 1,700 spectators for meets and events.

For those looking to take a dip, three leisure pools — two of them outside — would feature sprayers, "lazy river" floating areas and cabanas for lounging. The developers said these pools offer a "resort" type of atmosphere.

Inside, the facility also would have a warm-water teaching pool for lessons for swimmers of all ages.

Four therapy pools of different sizes, one with a movable floor, also would be in the center. Therapists could adjust the water temperature of these pools to suit patients' needs.

The pools would be served by three sets of men's and women's locker rooms, coaches' offices, teaching areas and dry exercise areas.

The center would employ from 100 up to 150 full- and part-time employees.

The center, which would operate with paid memberships, would be a for-profit venture with private investors, said the developers, who are lining up bank financing.

The developers are meeting this week with officials from Lancaster city, where the Burle park is located. They do not believe the project will require zoning changes.

They plan to begin construction a year from now, in fall 2012.

Edwin Wallover's firm specializes in aquatic projects and has worked on pools at high schools in the region, including Cumberland Valley and Central York, as well as Bucknell University and the new Greensboro Aquatic Center in North Carolina, which will host the Olympic trials for synchronized swimming next month.

His wife provides consulting on development, management, surveys, programming and other aspects of aquatics.

Woolley has developed health care projects, working in financing, design, construction and management.

Edwin Wallover said he felt the group could use its expertise to bring the facility to Lancaster County. Wallover sees the center as a potential destination not just for local residents, but for visitors, who could stay and shop nearby and boost the local economy.