SPIRE Institute | Geneva, Ohio

What is SPIRE Institute?

SPIRE Institute is a privately funded complex that integrates sports, training and education. SPIRE has been constructed in multiple phases over the past four years and currently has 750,000 square feet of indoor facilities. Tec started at Phase II, after the Owner and General Contractor were unhappy with the original engineers on the project. Tec Project Manager, Paul Trentanelli, through his previous employer, had a relationship with the General Contractor which opened the door for our inclusion on the remaining phases.

The facilities are world-class, with ties to former Olympians Diana Munz and Michael Johnson, and having recently been recognized as a multi-sport Olympic Training Center. The entire series of projects has been an incredible opportunity for Tec; however, the jewel is the Aquatics Center.

The SPIRE Institute Aquatics Center opens in mid-October. The Aquatics Center houses a 10-lane, 50-meter Olympic size pool with moveable bulkheads that allow for division of the pool. A unique design of the gutter systems will make this pool among the fastest in the world. The deep end of the 50-meter pool includes a diving area with a 1- and 3- meter diving board.  Also in the facility are an additional 25-yard pool and 4 therapeutic pools to support training and various therapy activities.


Photos: Scott Pease - Pease Photography

The Design

Pool projects of this magnitude don’t come around very often.  This was the first aquatics facility larger than a typical high school pool that Tec has completed in its 28 year history.  Although the actual pool and associated pumps and filters were designed by swimming pool fabricator, Myrtha Pools in Italy, Tec was responsible for the piping connections to and from the pool equipment as well as all of the HVAC, power and lighting in the building.

A delicate balance is required when designing a HVAC system for a competition aquatics center.  This facility can host up to 2000 spectators, who are seated high in the stands, where the heat rises.  Then you have the swimmers who are wet from warming up and minimally covered, waiting for their next event.  Keeping two disparate groups equally comfortable is a challenge not found in many other facilities.  In addition to swimmer and spectator comfort is designing to control humidity minimizing the corrosive effects of water and pool chemicals.

Lighting is another key component that during the design requires significant considerations for both swimmer comfort and maintenance.  For safety, swimmers, coaches and lifeguards need a facility that is well lit, free of shadows and glare.  Swimmers and divers can also be distracted by hot spots from light fixtures above the water.  Tec Lighting Designer, Ardra Zinkon, incorporated a relatively new Liteguide fixture mounted over water.  The Liteguide is a translucent polycarbonate tube lined with an optical lighting film.  This system minimizes the maintenance.  The fixtures are approved for wet locations, the polycarbonate tubes are not susceptible to corrosion, and by locating illuminators on the end of the tubes above the pool deck, the lamps are easily accessible when replacement is needed.

Aside from using non-corrosive materials, the electrical engineering design was fairly standard. The SPIRE campus runs a centrally located power feed that is distributed to each of the buildings on campus.

The plumbing design for the individual pools is completed by the pool vendor. The vendor supplies the information for the pool connections and capacities needed for the pumps. The piping from the pool to the pump and filtration system is sized to accommodate the large water volume associated with the Olympic sized pool as well as the various usage loads of the other pools in the facility.

SPIRE Institute