Cascade Falls Aquatic Center

A new aquatic center was needed for the City of Ankeny, IA that recalls the Works Progress Administration (WPA), created during the Great Depression of the 1930s. The purpose of the WPA was to provide employment for thousands of unemployed Americans, while enhancing the national parks systems and bettering communities. The WPA “style”, born through using local designers, contractors and laborers, was rustic in detailing, craftsmanship, materials and inspiration.

Client Since 2006
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Completion Date


Project Size

21,400 SF (Pool Area), 4,000 SF (Bath House)

Type of Delivery

Design Bid Build

Our Solution

The Cascade Falls Aquatic Center design pays homage to that time in American history, while adhering to Prairie Trail Development design requirements. The 4,000 SF facility has simple roof lines with exposed trusses and uses stone, brick and block. This provides a “WPA” rustic park and recreation atmosphere, while bringing the latest in American design ingenuity and convenience to aquatic center patrons. The aquatic area features 21,400 SF of water surface area, consisting of a 25-yard lap and diving pool, a shallow play pool, a lazy river with a water slide plunge pool and a FlowRider. Water features include: an open raft water slide, an enclosed raft water slide, a swirl bowl slide, a drop slide, one-meter springboard diving, three-meter platform diving, water spray features, water play structure and rockscape waterfalls.