Roeland Park approves plan to replace high dive with climbing wall at city pool

This is the AquaClimb Classic Plus 4×2 Panel the pool committee recommended for Roeland Park.

Roeland Park councilmembers on Monday approved spending up to $12,000 on a 16-foot climbing wall feature for the Roeland Park Aquatic Center. The city will split the cost of the $21,650 wall with the Johnson County Park and Recreation District.

The climbing wall was introduced as a replacement option for the pool’s 3-meter high dive, which was identified as potentially unsafe for recreational use in the November 2018 Waters Edge report.

“Having the ability to provide an amenity yielding a similar experience to the removed 3m diving board, yet offering a safer experience for users was very attractive,” the Roeland Park Aquatic Center Advisory Committee said in their recommendation report.

The 16-foot feature will be attached to the side of the pool and is intended for use by one person at a time. The Roeland Park Aquatic Center will be the only facility in northeast Johnson County to offer the amenity.

The pool advisory committee also considered modifying or replacing the high dive so that it met Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA) standards, but decided the climbing wall was the best option.

JCPRD Project Manager Marshall McKinney said Lenexa and Gladstone pools replaced their high dives with climbing walls and have been happy with the results.

McKinney also pointed out the expected cost of the climbing wall is less than the cost of replacing the high dive.

“We still are actually saving money and providing, what I think, is a better amenity,” McKinney said.