Lenexa addresses aging aquatics facilities, considers closing Ad Astra Pool

Ad Astra Pool
Ad Astra Pool. Photo courtesy of city of Lenexa

The Lenexa council is considering future options for the city’s aging aquatics facilities. One of those options involves demolishing Ad Astra Pool on Maurer Road, just east of I-435.

Nothing was officially decided last night at the Lenexa committee of the whole meeting. Recognizing that the city’s neighborhood pools are “distinctly Lenexa,” councilmembers discussed making future plans that address the needs of the city’s aging pools.

The city hired Lenexa-based Waters Edge Aquatic Design — the same company working with Roeland Park on its aquatics options — to conduct a study of those needs as well as user statistics.

Indian Trails Aquatic Center — the city’s largest outdoor pool that’s located in Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park in the eastern half of Lenexa — is the most popular. The study found that Indian Trails receives about 54 percent of the total outdoor pool visits in a summer. Nonetheless, the pool structures are aging and need to be replaced.

Recommendation to close Ad Astra Pool

Ad Astra PoolWaters Edge staff recommends closing and demolishing Ad Astra Pool. The study cited low attendance, poor conditions of the pool structure, piping and pool deck, and its close proximity to Indian Trails Aquatic Center.

The study ultimately identifies two ways to improve the city pools’ attendance, revenue, operations and financial conditions: Reduce the overall size of Lenexa’s outdoor aquatics facilities, and modernize facilities, either by building new facilities or improving current facilities.

Waters Edge staff gave two recommendations to the city. One recommendation was the regional approach, which could entail:

  • Building an aquatics center on the west side of the city
  • Demolishing Ad Astra Pool
  • Keeping Flat Rock Creek Pool on the southeast corner of the city (near the I-35/I-435 interchange)
  • Making improvements to Indian Trails Aquatic Center

The other recommendation was building a centralized water park, perhaps close to I-435 to improve access and visibility. However, a few of the councilmembers said they preferred the regional approach and seemed less interested in building a centralized water park.

Mayor Michael Boehm said a regional approach, in his mind, would involve a slightly bigger footprint and improved infrastructure of Indian Trails Aquatic Center as well as building a comparable-sized pool to Indian Trails that would be located west of Highway K7. Residents living in central Lenexa could attend either facility or the indoor pool at the Lenexa Rec Center, he added.

Mandy Stuke
Lenexa councilmember Mandy Stuke. Filed photo

In considering a centralized water park, Boehm also suggested identifying partnerships with Johnson County and/or neighboring cities to build a water park from which all residents in the area could benefit.

Councilmembers Andy Huckaba and Mandy Stuke echoed Boehm’s sentiments, citing the location and walkability of Indian Trails for families in the neighborhood.

“I want to be cognizant of our finances and doing our citizens right by that, but yet I want to do our citizens right by having the opportunities to partake in something that is just Lenexa,” Stuke said.

City staff will take the feedback from council and work with Waters Edge to refine the options. Staff will come back again before the council, but a date has not been set yet.