Consultants recommend summer-only options for future of Roeland Park pool

Waters Edge conducted a detailed study of possible futures for the Roeland Park pool. Photo credit Waters Edge.

The Roeland Park city council on Monday took up the future of the Roeland Park Aquatic Center as the Lenexa-based consulting firm Waters Edge Aquatic Design presented a comprehensive look at the pool’s current condition and options for keeping the pool open year round or during the summer season only.

The report’s final recommendations focused on options that would keep the pool open only during the summer.

Options considered in the Waters Edge report were:

  • Year-round with a dome
  • Year-round with a fixed structure
  • 6-month season with no cover
  • Summer season only with no cover
  • Summer season with basic upgrades (replace sand pit with concrete and shade, add in-water bench and shade zero-depth area)
  • Summer season only with family aquatic center upgrades (add lazy river, replace kiddie pool with shade structures, add climbing wall and floatables, replace and relocate slides)

The report found that community feedback showed strong support for the Roeland Park Aquatic Center with location of the pool ranking the highest in satisfaction. Desired features included 25-meter swimming, zero-depth entry, and 50-meter swimming. The sand pit, kiddie pool, and vortex pool ranked lower in overall interest.

About a third of respondents only had a need for summer swimming while 41 percent responded they needed indoor and outdoor swimming options. Less than 10 percent indicated a need for year-round indoor swimming. The report found the group desiring indoor swimming was generally split into two different categories—those who wanted indoor swimming for competitive swimming purposes and those who use it more for general public and leisure users.

While taking the survey feedback into consideration Waters Edge reported that options that can “operate at a lower subsidy level while servicing both leisure and fitness users is a priority” and pointed out that a summer-only season met these considerations.

Roeland Park hired Waters Edge for $31,100 to assist with planning for the pool following the Johnson County Park Recreation District’s decision to end its financial support for the facility in May 2019.

Councilmembers will review the lengthy report and pick up the conversation at a future workshop. Councilmembers also signaled consensus for presenting the Waters Edge report at an upcoming community forum.