Aquatics Master Plan

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Overview

Columbia Association aquatics programs have been integral to our community for over 40 years. That is why CA has initiated an Aquatics Master Plan to make sure our facilities serve the community for the near- and long-term. The Aquatics Master Plan will document existing conditions; assess the future needs of residents and other users of Columbia aquatics venues and programs; and make recommendations for future investments in aquatics venues and associated programs.

Master Plan - Diving In

CA is sharing its analysis and working documents with the Aquatics Master Plan Task Force, who are providing guidance to CA on the plan and planning process. To review recent work products, meeting notes and more, please review the task force materials.

Master Plan Goals

  • Engage the Columbia community in an inclusive process to plan for the future of Columbia's aquatics program;
  • Provide a framework for Columbia aquatic facilities that balances current and future community needs given changing demographics and resource constraints; and
  • Establish implementation priorities for the future of Columbia aquatics.

Existing Conditions and Trends

Columbia Association aquatic facilities, programs, and services are distinguishing features of our community. As part of a wide range of facilities and services, CA operates 23 outdoor swimming pools including two mini-WaterParks; four indoor swimming pools; and a hot water therapy pool.

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While participation in aquatics is high for Columbia as a whole, some outdoor pools have low usage - with as few as 50 visitors a day on average.

Built and upgraded over 40 years, Columbia's inventory of aquatics facilities are aging and require investment to continue to offer programs and amenities that meet user expectations.

By 2030, the population of Columbia and Howard County is expected to continue to increase although at a slower rate than in the past four decades. Projections also anticipate a more diverse population with continued growth of Hispanic non-whites, African Americans, and Asian Americans. On age characteristics, projections from the Maryland Department of Planning for Howard County in 2030 estimate the largest percentage increase of the Howard County population will be those aged 65 and above.

The projections also estimate that the major age cohorts or groupings are expected to continue to even out. That means, as compared to the 1970s when there was an age pyramid with more of the population focused at the lower end of the age spectrum and fewer older adults, by 2030 all the major age cohorts -- 19 years old and younger; 20-44; 45-64; and 65 and over - will look more like an irregular tree trunk than a pyramid.

What these demographic changes mean for planning for the future of recreational facilities, including aquatics, is that there will be even more demand and need for facilities that respond to our diverse population characteristics. To understand and respond to these and other trends, the Columbia Association is undertaking a master plan to set the framework for future capital investments and programs to keep our aquatics program strong and to make sure investments are made wisely.

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FAQ

What is the Aquatics Master Plan?

The Aquatics Master Plan is a comprehensive plan that documents existing conditions of Columbia's aquatics facilities and programs; assesses the future needs of residents and other users; and makes recommendations for future investments in aquatics venues and associated programs.

 

What are the goals of the plan?

The three goals of the Aquatics Master Plan are to:

  1. Engage the Columbia community in an inclusive process to plan for the future of Columbia's aquatics programs;
  2. Provide a framework for Columbia aquatic facilities that balances current and future community needs given changing demographics and resource constraints; and
  3. Establish implementation priorities for the future of Columbia aquatics.

 

Why is this plan being done now?

The sheer number of Columbia's aquatics facilities and programs coupled with the high number of pool users set Columbia apart from other communities. While participation is high for aquatics facilities and programs in Columbia as a whole, some pools have low usage - with as few as 50 visitors a day on average. Built and upgraded over 40 years, Columbia's inventory of aquatics facilities are aging and require investment to continue to offer programs and amenities that meet user expectations. By 2030, the population of Columbia and Howard County is expected to continue to increase although at a slower rate than in the past four decades. Projections also anticipate a more diverse population in terms of race, ethnicity and age. What these demographic changes mean for planning for the future of recreational facilities, including aquatics, is that there will be even more demand and need for facilities that respond to our diverse population characteristics. To understand and respond to these and other trends, the Columbia Association is undertaking a master plan to set the framework for future capital investments and programs to keep our aquatics program strong and to make sure investments are made wisely.

 

Aquatics Master Plan Documents

 

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