Shop Talk Blog

Little Otter Swim School named ‘Dream Design’ winner

Lory and John Kirk, founders of the Little Otter Swim School, in their Huntersville location, on Tuesday, June 24, 2014. Their first location opened in Matthews 9 years ago and their second location opened in Huntersville in April. The school announced its Huntersville facility was recently selected by Aquatics International as its 2015 Dream Design winner.
Lory and John Kirk, founders of the Little Otter Swim School, in their Huntersville location, on Tuesday, June 24, 2014. Their first location opened in Matthews 9 years ago and their second location opened in Huntersville in April. The school announced its Huntersville facility was recently selected by Aquatics International as its 2015 Dream Design winner. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

Little Otter Swim School announced Tuesday its Huntersville facility was recently selected by Aquatics International as its 2015 Dream Design winner.

Aquatics International tracks commercial swimming pool and waterpark industry trends and offers design insight for industry professionals.

John and Lory Kirk opened their swim school in 2005 on leased property in south Charlotte. They expanded in 2014 by investing up to $4 million to buy land and build their own 16,300-square-foot campus on Reese Boulevard in Huntersville. Here’s ShopTalk’s profile on the school that ran last year.

The bright space, defined by a floor-to-ceiling window wall for natural light,was designed to “help instructors and administrators to better create an exceptional learning experience for the parents and children that the school serves,” according to the school.

Little Otter describes its design elements this way: A large pool is sectioned into individual ones geared to different types of education and skill levels. Decks between individual pools give instructors visibility to any student in any of the instruction areas. Moveable benches at two depths help children to comfortably experience buoyancy under their instructors’ supervision. And the facility also has several green features, such as garage doors that enable the school to take advantage of moderate Charlotte temperatures to save on energy costs.

“When we opened the Matthews location, we had upfitted an existing pool so we didn’t have the freedom to make the design choices that we were able to make in building our Huntersville location from scratch,” John Kirk said in a statement.

“After ten years in this business, we had many ideas about ways to improve facility design so that everything would be better for students, parents and instructors...Receiving this recognition from the aquatics industry’s thought leader – Aquatics International – is incredibly rewarding for us and validates the way that we believe swim lessons should be taught.”

  Comments