Council considers options for aquatics facilities

Council considers options for improving aquatics facilities
Posted on 02/13/2019
lifeguard teaching kids how to swim
The Lenexa City Council discussed proposed recommendations for modernizing the city’s outdoor pool facilities during a Committee of the Whole meeting on Feb. 12, 2019. The options presented came from an aquatics study conducted by Waters Edge Aquatic Design. Lenexa hired the consultant to evaluate the city’s existing facilities and their ability to serve community needs in a fiscally responsible way. No final decision has been made about the future construction of aquatics facilities.

Overall, Lenexa’s aging outdoor pools — Ad Astra, Flat Rock Creek and Indian Trails Aquatic Center — are larger than average and expensive to operate. Several are in need of major structural improvements. They also lack modern features that attract enough attendance to operate without a significant subsidy. In addition, the pool facilities are concentrated in the eastern portion of city, and the most rapid population growth is happening to the west.

After assessing a variety of approaches to improve the pools, the study presented the following recommendations for city leadership to consider:
  • Maintain Flat Rock Creek Pool as is.

  • Close Ad Astra Pool due to:

    • Close proximity to Indian Trails.

    • Low attendance.

    • Lack of amenities.

    • Poorest physical condition and accessibility.

    • Large size and expense to operate.

  • Construct a water park, preferably at new centrally located site rather than at existing Indian Trails Aquatic Center location.

    • Provides amenities and programming at a smaller overall size compared to Lenexa’s current combined facilities.

    • Offers the most attractive facility that draws positive attendance and revenue, resulting in minimal or no operating subsidy.

  • Add splash pad amenities in one or more parks to enhance access to water recreation.
Implementing the proposed central water park strategy with two splash parks is estimated to cost $16 million to $19 million.
The Lenexa City Council is considering the report’s recommendations. Based on initial feedback received, city staff and the consultant will review additional options and present those to the Council at a future date. Upon approval, final recommendations would have to be considered as part of a future Capital Improvement Program budget. Currently, there is no identified funding source for these improvements.

Ad Astra Pool is likely to be permanently closed after the 2019 summer season. Indian Trails Aquatic Center and Flat Rock Creek Pool can accommodate the existing outdoor aquatics programs that would be transitioned from Ad Astra Pool. Staff are exploring ideas for repurposing the Ad Astra Pool site and will work with surrounding neighborhoods and stakeholders to seek input on proposed changes.

Read more about the study

 Published Feb. 13, 2019