Discover Basalt Colorado Magazine: MAKING A SPLASH
Updated: Mar 6, 2023
Arbaney Park’s brand-new robot-shaped kiddie pool offers many play features.
The town’s Arbaney Park swimming pool facility got a facelift and then some during the summer of 2021 - the first significant improvement since the pool was built more than 25 years ago. The result? A town pool that is not only a great designation for swimmers of all ages and abilities but also one that is now more energy efficient.
Among the updates is a brand-new robot-shaped kiddie pool that boasts several family-friendly design features. There’s a zero-depth entry for the youngest of kids, and play elements including side-by-side slides, rainfall water curtains and a water fountain at the toddler end of the pool. “We want(ed) to present to the public a fabulous pool for the kids and I think that’s what we’ve done,” said Carol Hawk, a member of the town of Basalt’s Parks, Open Space and Trails Committee.
Photos by Dallas & Harris Photography, courtesy of Connect One Design
The robot pool has been a big hit with pool visitors already - “just full of kids and excitement and the features brought a lot of fun,“ according to town of Basalt Recreation Director Brian Passenti.
“I think it’s kind of kids first in this community,” said Mayor Bill Kane. The renovation added ADA improvements, including a ramp and fixed-mount wheelchair access to the lap pool. There is now more space for lounging and recreation, as well as nearby trail improvements.
A less visible improvement is the more energy-efficient operating system to help efforts to reduce the town’s carbon footprint - previously the pool was the municipality’s largest energy consumer. Photovoltaic panels offset some of the energy consumed. Solar thermal panels and pipes heat the water, and the boiler was replaced with a more efficient model.
“It sets a standard that we can’t find anywhere else in the country,” said Gyles Thornely of Connect One Design, a consultant for the town. Passenti said hard numbers on the impact aren’t available just yet, as 2022 will be the first full season in operation since the changes. The pool is open during the summer season, usually running from mid-May to mid-September.