A company in Anderson is making a name for itself by manufacturing pools out of shipping containers. Trek Container Pools was founded four years ago by Joel Cookston, who was looking for a less costly option to a traditional in-ground pool. The company, which operates out of a former GM plant, is on pace to produce more pools in 2022 than all of its previous years combined and is currently being featured on a six-episode run of the popular television show “This Old House.”
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Cookston said the company has seen organic growth and is looking to scale even further.
“We’ve proved the model of the number of people it takes to build a pool a week,” he said. “Right now, we’ve got about eight or nine people from fabrication to coatings to [pool] equipment to water testing, and so if those eight people are building one pool a week, or shipping one pool a week, then I think we could find a larger building. We’re looking at an 80,000-square-foot building actually here in Anderson to then duplicate those eight people, and how many sets of eight people do we need based on sales volume?”
Cookston says he saw similar ideas for container pools in other countries, but nothing in the U.S. He teamed up with a union fabrication company in Indianapolis for the design, as well as Sherwyn-Williams to understand the coating of the metal and Hayward Pool Equipment in Ohio to properly configure electric and plumbing for the pools.
The first pool that was built sits in Cookston’s backyard. The company made six pools in 2019, about 15 in 2020 and nearly 40 last year. He says so far this year, they have made more than 20.
“We’ve really found a sweet spot and now, it’s just trying to keep up with demand and setting expectations to make sure that customers are aware of time frames,” he said. “We’ve learned a lot. It’s fun to work with these folks and provide a product that really fits a lot of needs and niches in the U.S. here.”
Trek Container Pools moved into a 10,000-square-foot space in the former GM plant on 23rd Street in Anderson last year, but a larger space is on the horizon.
“We didn’t think we’d need any more [space] when we moved in a year ago. Now, it’s very evident that we need about four times that size,” said Cookston.
Cookston says the upcoming episodes of “This Old House” will showcase the pool being craned into the backyard of a home and a deck being built around it. He says being featured on such a legacy show is an honor.