Design to Serve ALL of ABQ

Youth recreation to outdoor fitness

Infant/youth water survival to Disabled and special needs citizens

Age group club swimmers to Olympic trial swimmers

High school swimmers to Master swimmers

Waterpolo players to Triathletes


Youth Recreation: It's a well-known fact that swimming is the #1 preferred sport activity for youth nationwide. Public swimming pools give youth, at all economic levels, a chance to play, socialize, exercise, and cool off during the long summer months. However, the northern half of the City of Albuquerque is greatly underserved when it comes to public pool access. Most youths in this area must forgo this hugely beneficial activity due to lack of facilities, lack of reasonable transportation to pools, and lack of access to costly, private-membership facilities. Youths in the area desperately need more outlets to just be kids. It's time for Albuquerque to address this.

Water Safety & Swim Training: Parents citywide have let us know that it's been nearly impossible to access swim instruction and water safety classes at the City pools. Yet, swimming is the #1 sport preferred by youth. Providing more facilities and access to water safety and swim training needs to be made an urgent priority by the City.

Access for Swimmers with Disabilities: None of the city's existing/retrofitted pools have easy access for citizens with disabilities. A pool designed with a ramp and adaptive, workable features needs to be incorporated to serve this greatly underserved population. (see more on this below)

Competitive Swim (Team) Needs: USA swimming or club swimming has two seasons: a short course (25 yard/ 25 meter) season usually during the fall, winter, and spring and a long course season (50 meter) season usually during the spring and summer. Due to lack of 50 meter pools in the city of Albuquerque the city is not capable of providing USA Swimmers an opportunity to train in a 50 meter pool. The result is Albuquerque USA Swimmers have to travel out of the city and often out of the state to compete in a 50 meter pool. Unfortunately, the swim meet is often the first time Albuquerque swimmers have to experience a 50 meter pool. (see more on this below)

Water Polo & Water Sports Needs: Water polo teams have long been in stiff competition with swim teams and recreational swim times for the extremely limited public pool availability in the City of Albuquerque.

Access for Swim Enthusiasts of All Ages (including Seniors): Affordable swim lane availability at public pools is either not available or very limited in the northeast quadrant of the City. When swim enthusiasts do get lane time, swimmers in the northernmost part of the City spend much more time on the roads (than those in the southern half of the city) commuting 5-15 miles to access swim facilities. Those without transportation or with limited ability to drive must forgo this form of beneficial exercise.

According to the 2005 NDB Park Master Plan, the services the aquatic center shall provide are:

1. Area for water therapy;

2. ADA access/zero depth pool;

3. Toddler components;

4. Olympic-size pool for Senior Olympics, Masters, girls and boys high school swim meets and state championships, and age group competitions during summer;

5. Indoor and outdoor facilities;

6. Restrooms, showers, locker areas, office space, maintenance and storage space, and meeting rooms.

Click HERE to hear what Mayor Keller had to say regarding the pool design selection on 9/28/21 - you can start listening at the 39:13 mark.


Youth Development in Watersports: Youth swimmers from our community overcrowd the summer swim programs at Eisenhower Pool. The proposed NDB Pool would provide CABQ summer programs to families typically turned away during registration because classes or summer swim and waterpolo teams are full at Eisenhower or Sandia Pools.

Elevating Opportunities for High School Swim Teams: Currently, La Cueva and Eldorado High Schools' swim team members must commute to the other side of the City (4 to 5 times per week after school) for practice (in a 25-meter pool). The proposed NDB Pool would not only reduce the travel time for teenage athletes and their parents (usually 45+ minutes on the road daily), it will also provide additional pool resources for APS swim & dive teams throughout the city—allowing for less crowded practices at City facilities and additional practice time for our public school student athletes. It would also make swim team participation more possible for those teenage athletes who cannot afford a vehicle or the time it requires to commute to daily practices. Over time, this translates to the development of more skilled, competitive public high school swimmers throughout Albuquerque, giving them opportunities which have previously only been available to private school students (e.g., Albuquerque Academy) who have access to a private aquatic center.

Water Polo: Currently high school water polo teams have to practice in inadequate facilities and travel to pools distant from the school site. The city's two different club teams, Duke City Barracuda and Albuquerque Water Polo Club, plus a masters water polo team, 505 Master Water Polo Club also compete for space for playing. (Before the pandemic shut down there was a high school league and championship and a newly formed middle school league.)

Water polo is a highly aerobic sport that is accessible to swimmers/players of all ages. It is also an Olympic sport and Albuquerque could be much more of a pipeline for the national Olympic development teams. In addition, water polo attracts the attention of college recruiters from across the nation.

With another 50m pool, Albuquerque could expand its ability to host regional water polo tournaments and attract teams from AZ, TX, CO, UT and Mexico. (also see 'Potential for Revenues' below) More youths and athletes would also gain access to a healthy, organized sport that builds not only fitness, but teamwork and self-esteem.

Our hope is that the City of Albuquerque's Americans with Disabilities Act Advisory Council (ADAAC) will also have involvement in this project.


Our mission is to have the City of Albuquerque design a pool and aquatic center that deeply serves the needs of the whole community, including those with disabilities. When building a new center from the ground up, it's important to build accessible facilities with this population in mind. We don't want see this access treated like an afterthought - by retrofitting the pool with lifts. We want to see this built into the design and open the 'accessibility doorway' to more of our city's disabled swimmers.

Below are some images that highlight how an aquatics facility can serve a diverse population of swim instruction and adaptive needs:

Our hope and intent is to have the City incorporate a ramp and/or beach that is integrated into the actual pool design This would make it usable by people who have trouble with pool ladders, who have a fear of the water, or are in a wheelchair. With a ramp, there is less risk involved than movable steps and no chance of failure (as might happen with a lift device which could fail while a client was in the water).

***Independence from a mechanical device is the goal here.***

In addition, a ramp does not require supervision by pool staff. The only additional equipment necessary for wheelchair-bound swimmers is a water-friendly wheeled chair (such as one constructed of pvc pipe, etc.) that could be kept in storage for when this population of swimmers need to access/exit the pool. Wheelchair-use swimmers should not be expected to use their own chair to enter the pool as it would render the chair unusable (wet) after the swim and introduce dirt into the pool.

A ramp and a "beach area" is also helpful for clients who have mental/cognitive disabilities that make pool entry difficult. If a “beach” area is integrated into the design, it can also serve non-swimmers to gain comfort in the pool.

These are the most important features we'd like to see incorporated to serve our diverse disabled population. There are also other needs that are related to accessories for these people (handrails, wall grips, etc.) - many of which are outlined in this document.


The 2005 North Domingo Baca Master Plan originally indicated an Olympic size (50-meter) pool be built in the park. However, executive communications within the city indicated the city was considering a 25 meter pool option. Albuquerque and the entire swim community are in desperate need of a second 50-meter Olympic pool facility. (The city's only 50m competitive pool is at West Mesa High School in the SW part of the city.)

For non-competitive swimmers, the reasons for a 50m vs. a 25m pool might not be clear. For competitive swimmers, especially those seeking to compete for college scholarships or even try for the Olympics, the difference is like night and day. Here's an article on why this is so. To give our local youth a chance to truly compete, and to give Albuquerque's general swim population a chance to build their health and endurance, the City urgently needs to build a second 50-meter pool. Click on the "Why Invest" image to see what Charger Aquatics says about the value of a 50-meter pool.

Why a 50m Pool_.pdf


North Domingo Baca Park and the long-planned, not yet funded Aquatic Center are located in the highly accessible far northeast heights of modern-day Albuquerque. The location, just one minute north of the intersections of Wyoming Blvd. NE & Paseo Del Norte, is easily accessed by I-25, Paseo del Norte/the PDN bridge, the Alameda bridge & ABQRide bus route #31 (Wyoming). It is an ideal location that can easily serve many parts of the northern half of the City.


Click HERE to see the architectural design proposal selected by the City of Albuquerque. Our Citizen group is in direct communication with this architectural firm and the city's Parks & Recreation Department. Our goal is to ensure that what gets designed will serve the community fully and for a long time.

The Citizen Design Group has initially formulate 4 options we believe the city should be considering:


An indoor natatorium with 8-lane 75 meter x 25yd pool (34-lanes) with dedicated deep end diving well via bulkhead + indoor diving platforms (leaving full-size 50 meter pool) + indoor separate therapy pool + indoor splash pad w/slides


An indoor natatorium with 8-lane 50 meter x 25 yd pool (23 lanes) with deep end doubling as diving well + outdoor 4 lane 25 yd therapy pool + outdoor splash pad w/slides


An indoor natatorium with 8-lane 50 meter x 25 yd (23 lanes) pool + separate indoor structure with 4-lane 25 yd therapy pool + indoor diving well + outdoor splash pad


An full-size outdoor 8-lane 50 meter x 25 yd (23 lanes) pool with a covered (not sealed) structure + indoor 4-lane 25 yd therapy pool + indoor diving well + indoor splash pad