Executive Summary | This new construction project began October of 2017, with a vision to revitalize the former 60-year-old Columbia City Burnworth pool space. The old four buildings and pool were demolished, and a new state of the art competition style pool was built in its place. The new Aquatics Center now consists of a bath house, office building with concession stand, a pump house for pool gear, storage building with outside pavilion, a six-lane lap pool, diving board, two large slides, two small slides, splash pad area, lily pad walk, and concrete deck.



A new Aquatics Center quickly became a high priority in Whitley County after the 60-year-old Burnworth Pool underwent an assessment in 2012. Many costly problems were found during the assessment, deeming the former facility unusable. The solution was clear - demolish the existing structure to pave way for a new and improved space for aquatic recreation. The City formed an Aquatics Facility Task Force to create a plan of action for aquatics in Whitley County. Having access to this "quality of life amenity" was such a priority to the community that they incorporated the new Aquatics Center into the Parks Department Five Year Plan, along with Northeast Indiana's "Road to One Million" Regional Cities Plan.


After the Aquatics Facility project went out to bid for worthy building partners in August of 2017, MKS was chosen as the best fit for the project based on our experience with building Aquatic Facilities. A complete team of construction and planning professionals were assembled and went right to work on the project, with a goal of July 2018 to open. MKS successfully worked with the City, and many other significant members of the community to create a true, one of a kind aquatics center - complete with a recreational space for all members of Whitley County to enjoy. The facility includes a 25-meter competition style pool, two 15-foot slides, two smaller slides, a splash pad, vortex channel, lily pad walk, diving board, a concrete deck, shade structures, and four buildings for restrooms, offices, and storage. The incorporation of several radius walls along with countless play features and amenities make for a unique design/space.


This new facility has successfully brought current residents of Whitley County together for outdoor recreation activities that weren’t readily available to them; this in turn will attract additional population growth to build a bigger and closer community. The facility has also created over 50 new jobs for community members. With future expansion plans of nearby Morsches Park, this neighborhood jewel will become a recreational destination. Columbia City Mayor, Ryan Daniel said, “This is a place where families, people, can come together and be together. It’s not only a Columbia City facility. It’s not only a Whitley County facility. It is a Northeast Indiana regional facility and we can all be very proud of that.”