Category Archives: News

PlayCore Announces New Investment Partner

Chattanooga, TN – May 30, 2014 – PlayCore is pleased to announce its acquisition by Sentinel Capital Partners, a leading private equity firm focusing on middle market investments. The company was previously held by Irving Place Capital (IPC).

Based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, PlayCore is a leading designer, manufacturer, and marketer of a broad range of commercial play and recreation equipment. The Company offers a diverse family of brands and markets custom designed playground, recreational amenities, aquatic, performance, and specialty recreational products. Widely recognized as the industry thought leader, PlayCore’s product offering is complemented with highly differentiated value-added services such as research, curriculum-based education programs, and advocacy resources to help customers align with funding sources.

Under IPC’s ownership, PlayCore successfully executed on a strategic plan to drive growth both organically and through compelling acquisitions. During this period, PlayCore completed nine strategic acquisitions, further strengthening the company’s brand portfolio and enhancing its product offering, entering new end markets, and expanding PlayCore’s reach to a broader customer base.

Douglas Korn, a Senior Managing Director of IPC, stated, “PlayCore has achieved impressive expansion and we have enjoyed working alongside the company’s talented management team to strengthen the business and position PlayCore as not only the innovative market leader, but also the acquirer of choice in its sectors. We wish the company and its management team continued success.”

PlayCore’s President and CEO, Bob Farnsworth commented, “We have been fortunate to work with Irving Place Capital for the last 7 ½ years. They have certainly supported the Company’s organic growth and acquisition strategy and have been instrumental in supporting the success of the Company. We are now very pleased to partner with Sentinel Capital Partners as we take PlayCore to the next stage of growth. Sentinel has a reputation as a value added partner and we look forward to working with them as we continue to focus on the continued success of PlayCore and our vision of building communities through play.”

“PlayCore is an innovative leader and possesses a strong portfolio of leading brands in the playground and recreation market,” said Eric Bommer, a Sentinel partner. “We are very excited to partner with PlayCore’s management team and support the continued growth of this great business.”

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Model Aquatic Health Code “Knitted” Version Released for Final Round of Public Comments

March 28, 2014

MAHC milestone reached!

Today marks an important milestone in the development of the MAHC, the nation’s first science-based model guidance for swimming pools and other aquatic venues. The first complete “knitted” version of the MAHC has now been released for the MAHC’s second of two 60-day rounds of public comments. This knitted version blends together the 14 modules that have been developed, opened for public comment, and revised based on your feedback.

Be a part of history—send us your comments

Are you an environmental or other public health professional, aquatics facility designer or operator, scientist specializing in waterborne disease or injury prevention, other professional, or a member of the general public interested in protecting and advancing public health at aquatic venues? If so, you are invited to review this version of the MAHC and submit your comments by May 27, 2014.

Spread the word

Please remind your colleagues that this complete, knitted version of the MAHC is now open for public comment. We encourage you to forward this email and/or to use your social media channels to spread the word. You may use, edit, or customize the following sample posts for use on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc.:

  • Submit      comments on first complete “knitted” version of Model Aquatic Health Code      released today. Deadline 5/27.
  • Be part      of history! Submit comments on 1st complete national      science-based code for swimming pools.
  • First      complete “knitted” version of Model Aquatic Health Code released for      public comment. Submit comments by 5/27

Thank you for your review! We look forward to your comments. We will revise the knitted version of the MAHC based on the comments we receive and are excited to release the MAHC 1st Edition in summer 2014.

Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) Review

Many people have been asking:

What is the current status of the MAHC and what is the best web site address to hit to see the current status of the modules for comments?

Here’s a link to the CDC’s webpage so you can check the status on each module.

Here’s a list of what we know has happened so far

Disinfection Water Quality:        Second Post after public comment 1/24/14

Regulatory Module:                      Second Post after public comment 1/24/14

Facility and Design:                      Second Post after public comment 12/16/13

Risk Management                         Second Post after public comment 7/23/13

Facility Maintenance                    Second Post after public comment 7/2/13

Monitor and Testing                     Second Post after public comment 6/05/13

Contamination Burden                Second Post after public comment 6/05/13

Fecal Contamination                    Second Post after public comment 5/30/13

Operator Training                         Second Post after public comment 04/08/11

Preface                                             Second Post after public comment 11/10/11

Recirculation/Filter System        First Post 7/02/13  They have not posted public comment or reposted after update.

Ventilation                                      First Post 4/13/11  They have not posted public comment or reposted after update.


Don’t forget to get your comments in!

In Memory of Tom Abel

Capture1Tom Abel passed away over the weekend.  Tom had a long relationship with the swimming community and Counsilman – Hunsaker. In 1997, he and his father, Ed were a part of a committee that was looking to help Columbia Falls, Montana build a new aquatic center.  Not long after the completion of this study, Tom joined the Counsilman – Hunsaker engineering team in St. Louis.  Tom’s experience in pool building blended with his engineering background was an ideal fit.  His passion for aquatics could not overcome his passion for the mountains of Kalispell, Montana and sailing on Flathead Lake.  After returning to Kalispell he started his own engineering firm, Abel Engineering, and the two firms worked together over the years.  Tom and I also worked together at the National Swimming Pool Foundation where he was a Certified Pool Operator Instructor.  Tom’s contributions and friendship will be missed.  We offer our heartfelt condolences to Sherry, his wife, and the family.

The services will be at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 6, at the Northridge Lutheran Church, 323 Northridge Dr., Kalispell, MT 59901.

Pools are closing? An issue we should all be concerned about!

Between 2005 and 2007 the Facilities Development Department at USA Swimming began noticing a trend in pool closings. In 2007 we started tracking the closings while keeping a short file on each one. The map of closings depicts a 2 year period between Spring 2011 and Spring 2013. There were almost 1,100 commercial or intuitional pools closed during this most recent 2 year period. The main reasons for the pool closings were:

  • Older pools ignoring or delaying upgrades and repairs to the point that the pool cost more to fix than any budget can handle.
  • Pools relying on simple “day pass” income and water rental rather than offering total aquatic programming options.
  • Budget cutbacks by cities and schools and rather than revamp the aquatic program offerings for the community, the “people in charge” of the budget simply close the pool.

Solutions the USA Swimming FDD Offers:

  • Educate the people responsible for the “fate of the pool” about programming offerings and pricing and maintenance escrows in budget.
  • Offer advice and assistance in the best practices for pool operations and renovations.
  • Supply an Aquatic Programming Manual (at no charge) to help increase the pools community value and revenue.
  • Do our best to make sure all new facility designs have at least 2 pools. The main pool and a warmer water smaller pool for teaching aquatic programming. Programming precedes design.

Pool Closing2