On July 14, 2021, the City of Hampton hosted an official groundbreaking ceremony for the Hampton Virginia Aquaplex, a $29.5M, 63,000 square-foot aquatics center. GuernseyTingle is proud to play a key role in designing the state-of-the-art facility, which will be the largest of its kind in Virginia.

“The Hampton Virginia Aquaplex has been a great project for us, and it’s exciting to see it finally under construction,” said Thomas Tingle, AIA, President, GuernseyTingle.

Located adjacent to the Hampton Roads Convention Center and Hampton Coliseum, the Aquaplex is purpose-built for competitive aquatics and will play host to regional and national competitive swimming and diving events, artistic swimming, water polo, and other events.

Up to 1,500 spectators can be seated overlooking the facility’s eight-lane, 50-meter pool, while seating for 760 athletes is placed on the spacious pool decks. The configuration is designed to allow seamless execution of swimming competitions, something that holds a special place in the heart of GuernseyTingle Architect Chris Cromer, AIA.

“As a former competitive swimmer, this project is especially exciting for me on a personal level,” said Cromer, who participated in the Aquaplex design. “The learn to swim programs, the emphasis on getting everyone in the pool, these are terrific opportunities that the Aquaplex will bring to families in an area that is literally surrounded by water.”

Once complete, the Aquaplex will be open to the public, hosting local school swim teams and citizens in its 50-meter competition pool, 25-yard program pool and more. Local families can take advantage of event rentals, certified “Learn to Swim” classes, and open-swim activities for all ages. The design also calls for an outdoor splash park featuring a leisure pool, lazy river pool, and slides.

GuernseyTingle began working on the Aquaplex back in 2014, starting with a feasibility study completed for the City of Hampton which also examined destination recreation amenities. The project showcases GuernseyTingle’s belief in the design-build approach, working closely with Clancy and Theys Construction Company and various aquatic consultants, mechanical consultants, engineers, and other partners.

“We worked with Clancy and Theys on this project really from the very beginning, looking at constructability issues, cost issues, managing the project and the schedule,” said Tingle. “We find that collaboration is really what makes projects like this work.”

The GuernseyTingle team sought to find efficiencies and creative solutions throughout the Aquaplex design process, enabling the client to get maximum value from their investment.

“We worked hard to include many of the same features and design elements in this aquatics facility that you would find in a facility with a much larger budget,” said Scott VanVoorhees, AIA, Design Project Manager, GuernseyTingle. “The community can be very proud of the value they are receiving in this building.”

Many design elements of the Aquaplex are visible, including exterior features that provide a pleasing aesthetic on all four sides of the building which is situated on a well-trafficked street corner. Other design elements are less visible but equally important, allowing for cutting-edge features that promote safety and comfort.

“We spent considerable effort on a design that supported indoor air quality using the very latest materials and approaches,” said Cromer. “Working with our aquatic and mechanical partners to get those decisions made correctly will make it so much more of a safe and sound environment, and a key differentiator for this project.”

At the groundbreaking ceremony, Hampton Mayor Danny Tuck announced that the USA Artistic Swimming Junior Olympic Championship – one of the largest artistic swimming events in the world – will be held at the Aquaplex in 2023.

While the Aquaplex is designed to accommodate high-caliber competitions and other events, it is also built to serve the community, a key element of the GuernseyTingle mission.

“The Aquaplex, which is by far our largest project for the City of Hampton, will be important not just for local and regional economic development, it will also directly benefit the citizens of Hampton as well,” said Tingle.

The Hampton Virginia Aquaplex is set to open in the summer of 2022. For more information on other GuernseyTingle Recreation & Entertainment projects and additional areas of expertise, visit guernseytingle.com/expertise-overview/.

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