Roeland Park directs JCPRD to move forward with repairs to pool bulkhead

Roeland Park officials have hired a consultant to review possible options for future operations of the pool. Photo credit Johnson County Park and Recreation District.

The Roeland Park city council gave direction Monday for Johnson County Park and Recreation District to initiate efforts to have the Roeland Park Aquatic Center’s bulkhead repaired. The multi-purpose bulkhead system supports competitive swimming by dividing the pool into specific lane distances and providing a structure for swimmers to flip against. It also acts as a barrier to separate the pool for different user groups.

Repairs to the moveable bulkhead are expected to cost about $60,000 with the expense split between Roeland Park and JCPRD.

The repair cost was initially going to be divided into thirds, with the Kansas City Blazers shouldering some of the funding. However the competitive swim team, which purchased the bulkhead when the pool was originally constructed, pulled their financial support following the council’s unanimous decision not to have the pool’s dome repaired.

City administrator Keith Moody said the bulkhead could be pinned into the up position for the 2018 summer season and then lifted out of the pool and shipped off for repairs in September.

The city also considered purchasing a brand new system for about $110,000, permanently parking the existing bulkhead in either the up or down position, or removing the bulkhead entirely. Without a bulkhead the pool could be divided by a buoyed rope, Moody said.

Councilors generally agreed they would like to have the bulkhead repaired but some questioned whether the city needed to make the decision at this time.
Councilmember Jim Kelly suggested the council wait until they received further direction from the Waters Edge Aquatic Design analysis, expected in October.

Councilor Tim Janssen also said he would prefer to wait for the Waters Edge report before making a decision on the bulkhead.

Mayor Mike Kelly asked Moody if waiting could jeopardize JCPRD funding assistance. Moody said he did not think it would.

The council voted 4-2 to direct JCPRD to bid the project with councilmembers Becky Fast, Tom Madigan, Jennifer Hill and Erin Thompson voting in favor and councilmembers Kelly and Janssen being opposed. Councilmembers Claudia McCormack and Michael Poppa were absent from Monday’s meeting.

Moody said once JCPRD had secured a bid the contract would be brought before the council for final approval.