Pool Meeting

The Washington Aquatics Facility Committee met Friday with the city of Washington’s pool consultant, Counsilman-Hunsaker, St. Louis, to conclude the public engagement process for a proposed new pool.

George Deines, Counsilman-Hunsaker project manager, presented data and information that was gathered on what the public expects of a new pool.

The community feedback was recorded during stakeholders meetings, a public forum held in January and through an online survey.

Deines said primarily the community’s least favorite things about the current Agnes Nolting Aquatics Complex is the existing bathhouse and the lack of amenities.

Comments also reflected a need for concession stands and shade areas.

“I noticed a lot of people commented about shade and extended hours,” said Sparky Stuckenschneider, park board member.

“We tried that, (longer hours) but nobody showed up,” said Robin Peirick, recreation coordinator.

Most of the survey participants agreed that the current daily admission price is reasonable.

Deines said the comments all reflected a similar theme — the proposed pool needs to meet the needs of the community as a whole.

“I tried to take 600 or 700 comments and boil all that down into something tangible,” he said. “The results of the survey lined up with demographics of the community.”

Deines’ presentation showed the average ages of people living in Washington are 55 and older, and about 3,300 are under the age of 19.

Among the requests, Deines said he didn’t see anywhere that the proposed pool needs to have 50-meter lap lanes.

Instead, the community requests were for a lazy river, separate child area, water slides, swim lessons and lap swim lanes.

Deines gave the committee three options to mull over during the meeting. He asked committee members to pick out what amenities, design and layout they liked best, adding they could mix and match the options.

Option 1 included a six-lane lap and recreation pool with a 1-meter diving area and programmable shallow area, a child pool with a zero-beach entry and interactive play structure, a water slide tower, a shade structure and a new bathhouse.

Option 2 presented a six-lane lap and recreation pool with a 1-meter diving area, programmable shallow area and a current channel, a child pool and spray pad, water slide tower, shade structure and a new bathhouse.

When Deines presented the third option he said the goal of this design would be to draw people in throughout the region rather than just the community.

Option 3 included a six-lane lap and recreation pool with a climbing wall and programmable shallow area, a child pool with zero-beach entry, play structure, lazy river and crossing feature, water slide tower, shade structure and new bathhouse.

Deines provided his best guesses on what each one would cost. Option 1 he estimates would cost between $4.6 to $4.8 million, option 2 might cost around $4.3 million and option 3 might cost $9 million or more.

The budget for the pool has been set at $4 million and will be funded through the half-cent sales tax that was renewed last April.

Deines also included information about pool enclosure options that would provide an indoor pool for competitive swimming in the winter.

The cheapest option, a bubble cover, also would require the most maintenance, according to Deines.

It’s still up in the air where the pool would be built. Deines said people like the pool where the Agnes Nolting Aquatics Complex is right now, according to the survey.

As for the future, Parks Foreman Chad Owens suggested expansion.

“I think expansion is important,” he said. “We should leave room to add amenities.”

The committee is going to review cost and take a potential field trip to surrounding pools to get a better sense of what should be included in the design.