Memorable and impactful is how we would describe designing the interactive water feature and pool for Give Kids the World Village, a nonprofit resort in Central Florida that provides week-long, cost-free vacations to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. In celebration of our 30th anniversary, our studio director JT Toavs shares his experience when working on this project from a decade ago.
When I first heard about the opportunity to work on the Give Kids the World project, I was very excited. Not only was I going to have the opportunity to work with a team of very talented designers we had worked with previously on some world class attractions in the area, we were also doing something to give back to the community, in this case a very special community.
Living in Orlando, we sometimes take for granted that that millions and millions of people dream about coming here to visit our world-famous theme parks. Give Kids the World Village is an organization that has existed since 1986 to make those dreams come true for children who are living with life-threatening illnesses.
The 84-acre property, designed as a storybook village with whimsical venues and amenities, has been expanding ever since it opened its gates in 1989 on 31 acres. We were brought onto the team in 2007 to help design the zero-entry swimming pool and interactive water feature with all kinds of spray elements for the kids. ADE donated our aquatic engineering services to design the features using the most advanced and safest technology available. Not only did we design a Regenerative Filter into the system, but the manufacturer also donated the filter for the project. This style filter provides some of the best filtration available in the aquatics industry, only fitting it would be provided for this special project. Since the pool area's opening in 2010, more than 50,000 families have stayed at the resort and experienced the joy of a safe aquatic playground where a kid can be a kid.
There are projects that stick with you for a lifetime; this is one I will never forget.