Roeland Park council moving forward with plan to end year-round pool operations

Roeland Park will move away from year-round operations at the pool to a summer-only schedule.

The Roeland Park Aquatic Center will shift from being a year-round pool to a summer-season only facility, members of the city council tentatively agreed Monday.

The council unanimously signaled its support for moving forward with a summer season that would span from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The new schedule will come up for a final and formal vote during a January council meeting.

Pool Advisory Committee member Tom Madigan said the committee had considered an option that would keep the pool open until October, but the alternative was voted down after determining the low usage during those additional months did not warrant the expense.

“There was very low participation,” Councilor Madigan said. “….because of that it would be a high subsidy for each individual that did show up.”

Roeland Park debated how to proceed with pool operations after the Johnson County Park and Recreation District decided not to continue its partnership, in which JCPRD and Roeland Park split the expense of the pool. The issue was further complicated when the pool’s dome, which allows it to stay open year-round, was damaged beyond repair in a wind storm.

Previously, the dome over the pool had provided a winter practice facility for the Kansas City Blazers swim team and the local U.S. Masters swim team.

The decision to move to a summer-only season was recommended by Waters Edge Aquatic Design, the Lenexa-based consulting firm Roeland Park hired to consult on pool operations.

City staff, Pool Advisory Committee Members, and councilmembers will now consider how to move forward with the three summer-only options outlined by Waters Edge:

  • Switch the pool to a three-month season with no added features (expected cost $300,000/year)
  • Summer season with basic upgrades that include: added shade structures, new toddler slide, in-water bench, ADA additions, improved lighting (estimated project cost of $680,000)
  • Summer season with premium upgrades that include: separate lap and leisure pools, replacing kiddie pool with cabanas and shade structures, adding a lazy river and wet deck, replacing and relocating slides, adding a climbing wall and floatables, improved lighting, and new mechanical and piping systems (estimated project cost of $4.7 million)

The Johnson County Park and Recreation District board decided in 2017 to let its current funding partnership agreement with Roeland Park expire in May 2019.