New aquatic center opens Memorial Day weekend

Published on May 13, 2024

aquatic center kids' area under construction

Lenexans will wait no longer. Sar-Ko-Par Aquatic Center opens May 25 at noon. 

The City’s flagship pool underwent a $15 million transformation this past year after extensive research and public input.

The former pool, Indian Trails Aquatic Center, was built in 1976. Based on the 2019 Aquatics Study, it had reached the end of its useful life and needed major repairs. In 2022, the City began to envision what a new pool in that space could look like. More than 400 Lenexa elementary students weighed in as well as residents. After robust public input, designs were finalized, the community voted on a new name and construction began in March 2023.

The new aquatic center features a blend of excitement and relaxation. Amenities include: 

  • Zero-depth entry pool with interactive features for younger children
  • Climbable play feature with dump bucket
  • Lazy river with a variety of flow currents and features
  • 25-yard competition/lap pool
  • Deep-water alcove and diving boards
  • Inner tube slide and speed slide
  • New shade features
  • New family restrooms and open-air admissions area

The center also includes 150 new parking stalls, improved traffic flow and a drop-off/pick up circle near the pool entrance. 

And, as elementary students reminded us, no swimming pool would be complete without a quality concession stand. In fact, they marked “good food” right after the lazy river, slides and diving boards. Concession items you can expect to see include: a combo deal of a hot dog, chips and drink, soft pretzels and cheese, nachos and chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches.

Sar-Ko-Par Aquatic Center’s hours are noon to 8 p.m. daily from May 25 to Aug. 11. Then, when lifeguards prepare to go back to school, modified hours begin Aug. 12 until it closes for the season Sept. 2.

Daily admission is $9 for residents, $12 for nonresidents.  Kids 2 years and under are free and there is a discount for seniors. If you plan to go more than seven times, a season membership may be of the most benefit.

You can renew your pool membership online. New pool memberships must be purchased in person at the Parks & Rec desk at the Lenexa Rec Center or Lenexa Community Center. The parks desk at the Rec Center will also open Saturday, May 18 and May 25, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for those who can’t make it during the week. Memberships cannot be purchased at the pools. 

Daily admission and memberships

Next year, Ad Astra Pool will close for construction. Look for information later this summer for ways you can give input on its new design. 

Background facts 

Cost: $15 million 

Funding sources:

  • Capital Improvement Fund - $7 million
  • Voter-approved 3/8-center sales tax - $8 million


  • Summer 2019: Lenexa Aquatics Study Phase 1 complete.
  • Summer 2021: Lenexa Aquatics Study Phase 2 complete.
  • Spring 2022: 4th and 5th graders at five Lenexa elementary schools gave input on key features they would want. Most requested feature was a lazy river followed by slides and diving boards and “good food” at the concession stand.
  • Summer 2022: Design concepts by Confluence shared with City Council.
  • Fall 2022: Public voted to change the name from Indian Trails Aquatic Center to Sar-Ko-Par Aquatic Center once renovations were complete.
  • Winter 2023: City Council approved updated construction contract. 
  • Spring 2023: McCownGordon began construction.