A total backyard transformation unlike any other in Manhattan’s Grand Mere

Nothing can totally transform a backyard the way a swimming pool does. For K-State graduates Drs. Marcie & Kelly Lechtenberg, this was exactly their vision for their beautiful, native stone-laden, ranch-style home. Built in 2008, and located in Manhattan’s Grand Mere neighborhood, the home’s original backyard was sloped, short in width, and featured a prominent tree line just a few paces from the patio. While the backyard seemed less the ideal, west of the home offered plenty of open space, so naturally, that’s where they thought they would eventually place the swimming pool. 

“Coming up with a final plan on exactly where we wanted it was the biggest challenge we faced,” said Dr. Kelly. “After many discussions, we thought the backyard would be the best place for it. It offered more privacy, a better combination of sun and shade, and we’d be able to move in and out of the house easily. We do a lot of entertaining, and the flow of the outdoor kitchen directly towards the pool made more sense.”

In addition to the pool, they added a complete outdoor kitchen, a double-sided outdoor fireplace, renovated an outdoor closet into a pool room/butler’s pantry, and then removed a rear-patio access staircase from the upper deck. “We used all local contractors, and have been very happy with that. The electrical, plumbing, stone masons, outdoor kitchen, and, of course, the pool - all local people.” The project was general contracted by Thierer Construction, who created the retaining wall. Blueville Nursery landscaped the yard, and the stone masonry was laid by Sean Padgett Masonry. The outdoor kitchen was installed by Aaron Nickell, The Wiring Guy, and the pool itself was designed, dug and installed by Energy Center-Manhattan Pool. Ground was broken in late 2020, and the entire renovation was completed just in time for Labor Day 2021. 

The stunning 40' by 20' pool is classified as a sport pool, which is designed specifically for swimming, exercise, and play. Unlike typical swimming pools that can be used in conjunction with slides and diving boards, sport pools are customized for shallow water enjoyment, activities, and games. There is 32' of swimmable space, and the depths measure from 3’ to 5’. On one side is a magnificent waterfall cast in a native stone wall; the other side features a basketball hoop between four MagicStream Laminars (single stream fountains). Travertine pool decking and customized LED lighting surrounds the entire pool, lending the entire backyard a resort-like feel. 

“We sat down with Kimberly and Hayden (Weber, of Energy Center-Manhattan Pool) and started with the basic ideas on pool shape. They were good about giving guidance and generalities, especially on costs. Their knowledge was incredible! It took just one meeting to get the construction set. We then approved the drawings and the depths. The team at the Energy Center-Manhattan Pool helped create a space that we love and they continue to support with excellent hometown service.”

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