Aquatics Facilities Master Plan

The City of Durham Parks and Recreation Department commissioned an Aquatic Facilities Master Plan study in July of 2016 as a follow up to the Swimming Pool Assessment Study completed in 2015. The Assessment Study found that advanced age, condition issues and functional obsolescence were issues for many of the City’s Aquatic Facilities. The Aquatic Facilities Master Plan was prepared by RATIO and Counsilman-Hunsaker, in consultation with the Durham General Services and Parks and Recreation Department staff, stakeholder groups, and the public.

Citizens enjoying water aerobics
Master Plan Report Button

Check out the full report (PDF) or read some of the highlights.

Goals of the Master Plan

  • Guide the future development of Aquatic Facilities for the City of Durham
  • Provide facilities for the entire community
  • Determine the needs of four user groups including Recreation, Instruction, Competition, and Therapy / Wellness

Needs Assessment

Public Outreach played a significant part of the Assessment and consisted of:

  • Survey, over 500 responses received
  • Stakeholder Meetings: 6 stakeholder groups
  • Open House Public Events
  • Pop-Up Events

Data Collection included consideration of the existing facilities analysis provided in the Pool Assessment Study, determining market area demographics, current and projected future population, age distribution, weather, aquatic trends, sustainable construction and economic growth. An Area Provider Analysis was conducted to identify alternate local aquatics offerings that may impact development of a recommended master plan approach.

Master Plan Recommendations

High Priority

  • Large Outdoor including 50M Lanes, Waterslides, Beach Entry, Lazy River and Play Structure
  • Large Indoor with Sprayground including 50M Lanes, Waterslides, Lazy River, Beach Entry, Diving Platforms and Sprayground
  • Sprayground including Water Features and Shade Structures attached to some facilities

Future Priority

  • Medium Indoor
  • Small Outdoor
  • Medium Indoor with Small Outdoor
  • Medium Indoor with Sprayground

Next Steps

Exploring Potential Partnership Opportunities

  • Continue conversations with potential partners
  • Funding options
  • Utilize site selection criteria from Master Plan to explore potential new sites
  • Perform feasibility studies
  • Land acquisition
  • Design


Durham Aquatics Facilities Master Plan Report (PDF)
The Master Plan process detailed in this report included data collection, development of a needs assessment, conceptual plans of potential facilities, and a recommended implementation strategy. The report is to be adopted as an addendum to the City of Durham Parks and Recreation Master Plan (2013).

Durham Aquatics Facilities Master Plan Fact Sheet (PDF)
Highlights from the complete Aquatics Facilities Master Plan Report.

Voting Board Results (PDF)
Results from public workshops held during August 2016.

Aquatic Trends and Considerations Presentation (PDF)
Presented during public workshops and stakeholder meetings.

For information, email Jackie Turner.