As recreation centers continue to cater less towards the individual user and more towards families and other larger groups, the scope, size, and necessity of the family locker room has steadily increased as well. Twenty years ago when the first family locker rooms began to appear, they incorporated individual changing / shower areas adjacent to a common locker and bench area with one or two uni-sex toilet rooms. This common locker area would usually serve as a secondary access point to the natatorium from the rest of the center, saving families, groups of children and seniors from having to navigate the men’s or women’s room to get to the pool. As more and more users have become accustomed to the concept of the family locker room, they have begun to consider it as the primary entrance to the natatorium; one that offers the most privacy and convenience.
It is more common now to see not just personal changing areas, but full-service “cabanas” where families, people with disabilities and other groups have temporary access to their own toilet, lavatory, shower and changing area.
Family locker rooms may be arranged to address your specific needs. Do you have an aging community? Cabanas offer the convenience of fully accessible amenities while providing privacy for those who require assistance. Are you concerned about younger patrons behaving badly in under-supervised rooms and hide-out places? Wide open uni-sex locker areas with adjoining cabanas have increased traffic and visibility which can help reduce the risk of mischief. Will your center primarily cater towards families and groups? Locker room and cabana compartmentalization eases the burden of kiddie-crowd control with barriers, diversions and fixtures that are both child and parent friendly.
While in the programmatic phase of a new recreation or community center, it is important to consider these locker room options when the demographics and priorities of the center’s user group have been determined.