Greensboro Aquatic Center Undergoing HVAC Overhaul Ahead of Winter Juniors

The Greensboro Aquatic Center, which has moved into the USA Swimming major meet rotation since opening in August of 2011, is already undergoing much-needed renovations, with the primary function of improving air quality.

The pool will host the 2013 Winter Junior National Championships in two weeks, and the 2014 Winter National Championships at the end of next year, and specifically a lot of the deck-level, poor-quality air will be evacuated from the pool, rather than recirculated as the HVAC system was originally designed.

“To better be able to manage the challenge of reducing the airborne chloramines and improving the overall air quality on the pool deck, Greensboro is renovating their HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system,” the pool’s management said in a written statement.

“The change includes the installation of two Paddock Evacuators to collect bad air at deck level and pull it out on top of the roof to exhaust it. This air will not be re-circulated into the pool deck as it is today. Fresh air is then brought in to displace the exhausted chloramine-laden air. With these changes the air flow can be better managed and the quality is improved for swimmers, coaches and officials.”

Chloramines are becoming better-and-better known as the true cause for the telltale smell in natatoriums, and is the result of the interaction of the chloramines in the water and the organic matter in the pools that the chlorine is designed to clean up. In laymans terms, the smell means that the chlorine is doing its job in the water, but can be a huge health issue for those who inhale them if they’re not properly ventilated.

This HVAC upgrade is expected to be completed in time for Winter Juniors this season, which should assuage concerns over one of the biggest complaints of the otherwise huge and spectacular facility that seats 2,500 (1,848 elevated, 652 on deck).

Other improvements include a widening of the spectator corridor with a new concessions area and box office, and the establishment of a meet timing room that is off-deck.

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The Evacuator is revolutionary. Jenks Aquatic Center has one, and swimmers, coaches and officials at two Spring Sectionals were impressed enough to keep wanting to come back. Officials who could previously work only one session per day due to burning eyes found themselves on deck all weekend, prelims and finals. No “pool flu.” The technology is a game-changer, and this is not hyperbole. 400+ people in the water during warm-up kick up a little bit of chlorinamine odor, but the 15 minutes of clear water after warm-up and before events start really clears the air, and it keeps getting better throughout the session with only 16 swimmers in the water at once (two-pool meet). Good choice, Greensboro!


I can attest to the air quality at Jenks comp pool and will agree with warm-up and race time. Not so much for the warm-down pool though… Massive fans in there, but awful none the less.

I have never been in a pool so dry and clear before in all my life.

Wahoo Strong

This is the best piece of news I could imagine before the ACC championships!


It was a smart move. Poor engineering design from the get go needed retrofit and now will be a world class facility.


There seems to be lots of that. Great pools with lots of promise, and poor attention to the essential role HVAC plays. I think everyone can point to dozens of pools that look great through the window and have all the right amenities (deep water, wide lanes, great blocks, thick ropes, wide decks, deep gutters, solid bulkheads, great lighting, cool water, etc). Then they get a whiff of the air. Then they warm up, swim a few races, hang out on deck for a few days, and then start hacking their lungs out.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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