Update: Buffaloe Aquatic Center is closed for maintenance until Aug-27, 2013.
Eagerly awaited, but it still took us a couple of weeks to get to check out the new indoor pool, also known as “Buffaloe Road Aquatic Center”. (Side note for map geeks: If you look at the location on Google Maps, the top-down view still shows forest, whereas the 45-degree view shows the center under construction; toggle back and forth to see how the location changes.)
I am impressed by how much was packed in a relatively small space; I would say the building envelope is about a third of the size of Pullen Aquatic Center. However, it does not feel cramped, even though you can find a wading pool with implements, toddler slide, water volleyball, water basketball, a river, a “vortex”, and towering over everything, a three-story water slide for “anyone between 48 in. and 300 lbs”. There are only 3 lap swim lanes, and they are not Olympic length. (However, an Olympic size pool is planned for phase 2, in an adjacent building.) The building features a nice, open design, and is equipped with the latest sustainable features. Solar heaters, green roof, etc.
The changing rooms are of course also brand spanking new, and I was particularly pleased to find two family changing rooms. (In other pools, no children above 5 are allowed in the changing room of the opposite sex, and I will one day be slightly nervous about sending my 5-year-old daughter alone to the changing room.) So the family room is much appreciated, and is very convenient. (Not perfectly labeled, though: Just enter the door that says “Pool” next to the regular changing rooms.)
Not open when we went, but available in a month or so were a concession stand and a birthday celebration “room”; it can be reserved ahead of time.
We (2-year-old and daddy) both liked the pool, and for this age-group, it is well worth the 15-minute drive from downtown instead of going to Pullen with its “big-boy-pool”.
Hours: (check website)
Admission: (check website)
Slightly more than other pools; $3 for kids, $7 for adults, and double that if you’re not a Raleigh resident. (It did cost $8 million to build.)
“Up Capital and right on Buffaloe”. Or look up 5908 Buffaloe Road, Raleigh NC 27616.