By our Smarty friends at Little Otter Swim School
Owners John and Lory Kirk spent ten years looking at how their business works, what families and students need, what industry peers are doing, and the building and technology innovations that have become available. They’ve brought together the best of all of these features and qualities in Little Otter’s Huntersville Swim School.
So with Little Otter’s top priorities of keeping kids safe and having good lessons as their guiding focus, John and Lory opened the Huntersville location of Little Otter April of 2014.
The school has everything you’d expect:
– An impressive pool
– A filtration system that far exceeds regulations
– Spacious changing areas and showers
– Comfortable observation room
– Private rooms for parent meetings
– Office space to accommodate all of the needs of staff
But John and Lory went far beyond the expected in pulling the best of what they’ve seen together and offering an amazing learning experience that sets the school apart from not just many in the Charlotte region but many across the country. The first season’s enrollment quickly drew in more than 850 students and its pace has not let up in 2015.
Come in for a tour and enjoy seeing the extraordinary features at Little Otter Huntersville:
Fresh air infusion – Garage doors along one side of the school building allow Little Otter to use the Carolinas’ beautiful weather to its advantage and ventilate with fresh air very easily. This not only helps to circulate fresh air, but has a “green” advantage in the energy saved by giving dehumidifiers a break.
Massive pool – A single large pool innovatively uses walkways and dividers to section off pool areas for lessons. The walkways allow instructors and managers to position themselves in the very center of the pool so that they have the best possible vantage point on what students – and instructors – are doing. This was the first pool of its kind constructed for use in a swim school! Talk about leading the pack: The Kirks know how to do it. The dividers provide the school’s smallest students with cozier learning space. The “bigness” of a large pool can be overwhelming (and distracting) to the tiny ones.
Visible filtration – The transparent walls of the filtration room (that reminds you of a microbrewery) allows Little Otter to be expose one of the most critical areas of its operations. Little Otter’s filtration is far above industry standard required to keep swimmers safe – and parents can watch it work anytime they’d like. Along with the filtration, Little Otter also operates a dehumidification system that keeps students from feeling clammy and sticky as can happen in schools that lack such equipment.
Constant pool temperature – Little Otter Huntersville’s pool temperature is consistent – even during the winter. No students get too chilled as they happily and healthily learn to swim.
Mosaic shelf – The entire perimeter of the pool is fashioned with a mosaic shelf that gives children a place to sit as they wait their turns so that there are no awkward lines and no need to re-acclimate to the water during lessons.
Pre-swim shower area – Plexiglass surrounds the pre-swim shower area and allows it to be on deck so that instructors (and parents) always have students within view – even when they are observing student from the pool walkway.
Modern changing rooms – These areas are loaded with conveniences like hair dryers and swim suit spinners – and provide privacy.
“Live” observation area – Parents can comfortably watch their children in class and work in a well-appointed space that includes a changing area with shelves, tables, and benches that accommodate all ages of students. There’s even internet available to check e-mail.
Fun photo booth – Students pose for pictures that make great refrigerator displays when they reach milestones and accomplishments. No special day is ever forgotten!
Class display monitor – A flat screen displays upcoming classes in real time complete with class codes so parents can quickly and easily recognize special information about the class their child has today. This is really cool because the information is pulled from Little Otter’s class management software so that even last minute changes are displayed. This saves staff more than 3 hours a week plus reams of paper! It also makes for a very modern, professional and neat looking entry area! It is much easier for all parents to see as they come in the door and make their way to the appropriate area quickly and without needing help. The paper savings makes this feature a very “green” one – and that fits the standards that Little Otter tries to apply across its operations.
Colorful décor – The fish that seem to swim through the air above pool and beneath the swimmers on the pool’s floor aren’t just decorative. They are there to help entertain young students who may be slightly apprehensive about the new environment they’re experiencing. The fish can also be reference points for instructors to use in continuously engaging the children as they get more comfortable and gain more confidence in the water.
It’s easy to see that John and Lory have put lots of research, energy, and thought into designing and building the Huntersville school so that every detail comes together to provide an amazing learning experience for young swimmers and for their parents.
Little Otter Swim Schools is a leader in teaching children to develop swim skills and to love the water! Well-respected by peers and the industry’s professional association, Little Otter is an ideal environment for extending the confidence and comfort level that you’ve begun to inspire within your children. Learn more at www.littleotterswim.com.