Piedmont Selects ELS as Architect for Green Aquatic Center

by: Diana Banh | October 20, 2021

The City of Piedmont has selected ELS to design and oversee the construction of the new Piedmont Community Pool located in the city’s core. ELS will be working with Griffin Structures, the project manager chosen earlier this year for the center, which will include two pools and an expansive aquatics and community building.

“The City and residents of Piedmont have worked hard over time to move this project forward and to make sure that it contributes to Piedmont’s renown as a sustainable and livable community. We are honored to work with them and are enthusiastic about envisioning together a great place to have fun, relax and stay healthy,” said Clarence D. Mamuyac, Jr., FAIA, the project’s principal-in-charge. “This isn’t solely a community pool project. It’s a unique opportunity to merge a number of recreational resources into a new and inviting wellness hub for the civic center.”

ELS will facilitate three community workshops in November and December to gather community ideas and consensus on a concept plan for the new center. By early next year, we are scheduled to begin the schematic design phase, with the facility scheduled for completion in 2024.

The existing Piedmont pool, opened in the 1960s, was a community hub used by several generations of adults and children. But the facility, which was shuttered in March 2020, had been functioning on borrowed time due to aging equipment and construction. Emissions from the use of natural gas for heating the pool water had also become a liability for the municipality.

Responding to the outdated pool and growing demand, a new pool master plan offers more water area and a wide variety of options, including a competition pool with diving boards for competitive and fitness aquatics programming, as well as a warm-water recreation pool with a zero-depth beach entry, shallow lap lanes and water-play features. The new community center will include a two-story aquatics and community building with a range of uses. The approval of Measure UU in November 2020, a $19.5 million bond measure, provides funds for construction to meet the present-day needs of the community.

While larger pools and an expanded building footprint imply increased energy use, the City of Piedmont, in keeping with the high standards set by the State of California, is committed to meeting Climate Action Plan goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. City residents have also been on board with a more resource-efficient facility. This requires designing an aquatic center that reduces greenhouse gas emissions through alternative energy sources.

“I’m really grateful and enthusiastic about the progress we’ve made towards our new community pool,” said Piedmont Councilmember Betsy Smegal Andersen. “I’m confident that ELS is the best qualified and most experienced firm to lead this extraordinary project right in the heart of our community. It’s going to be amazing!”