Plans for a new pool in Washington are moving forward.

Washington Parks Director Wayne Dunker said he’s working on a request for proposals (RFP) for the design and engineering of the new pool.

“Ideally, the goal is to have someone in place starting Jan. 1 of next year,” Dunker told park board members last Wednesday.

The public engagement process concluded earlier this year.

In July, Dunker, along with Darren Lamb, city administrator, took a trip to the Springfield area to look at the design of two pools in Willard and Branson.

Dunker said the Branson Aquaplex is a bigger facility than proposed here, but the Willard pool was similar in size. Both pools were built by the same company between 10-15 years ago, so the city officials also looked at the wear and tear of the facilities. 

Proposed Pool

The city hired Counsilman-Hunsaker, St. Louis, as the pool consultant to conduct the public engagement process.

The company led a public forum in January to gather input from the community.

Feedback from that meeting included the need for a zero entry pool, better bathhouse, an indoor pool and more shade areas.

George Deines, Counsilman-Hunsaker project manager, noted an indoor pool addition would be hard to accomplish on a $3.5 million budget.

The construction and design of the proposed pool will be supported by the capital improvement sales tax approved in April 2018. Operating expenses will come directly from the parks department’s budget.

The sales tax is estimated to produce about $2.2 million a year. Through the eight-year term, only $16 to $16.5 million is expected to be used for capital projects.

Following the public forum, an online survey was made available to the public, returning more than 1,500 survey responses.

The survey showed the condition of the existing bathhouse, lack of amenities, need for a concession stand and shade areas were among the most requested items.

The community requested several amenities, including a lazy river, separate child area, water slides, swim lessons and lap swim lanes.

The location of the proposed pool has yet to be decided. The current city pool is located in the city park.

With this next year being slated for finalizing a design, officials hope construction will begin in 2021.