Roeland Park digs into the details of plans for improving city pool

Roeland Park is deliberating the future of its pool.

Potential improvements to the Roeland Park Aquatic Center were discussed Monday during the governing body workshop. Councilmembers agreed to move forward with learning more about potential costs and conceptual designs related to several items:

  • Replacing the kiddie pool and sand pit with a splash pad and shade
  • Adding overhead lighting so the pool can be open for extended night-time hours
  • Improved landscaping
  • Replacing and/or relocating slides
  • Adding in-water bench, shade, and a potential kiddie feature in the zero-depth area
  • Adding an ADA-compliant ramp and chair
  • Improving the mechanical room and water filtration methods

Various changes to the vortex pool were also discussed. Councilmembers signaled their interest in learning more about removing the vortex pool altogether, keeping the pool and adding a feature like floaties, or replacing the vortex pool with a lazy river.

“I think it’s safe to say that we are really going to be focusing on operational efficiency… and what is going to make people more comfortable to be here,” said Lauren Ozburn, operations analyst with Waters Edge.

Councilmembers also learned Monday that the pool ranked second to last in satisfaction in the Parks and Recreation portion of this year’s citizen survey.
“…it’s not surprising that we see this because there is a lot of unknowns,” Ozburn said.

Survey respondents indicated they were most interested in adding shade structures, replacing deck furniture, and replacing the kiddie pool and sand pit with spray features.

Incorporating a climbing wall to the pool, which councilmembers approved at a recent meeting, was ranked as one of the lowest priorities.

Councilmember Tom Madigan asked Waters Edge if they were concerned with the climbing wall’s low ranking, given the council’s decision to replace the pool’s high dive with the climbing feature.

“I think it’s positive that if you take an amenity away you replace it,” Ozburn said.

Roeland Park has been working with Waters Edge to determine the best path forward for pool operations since the Johnson County Park and Recreation District decided to end its partnership with the city. Councilmembers recently voted in favor of switching the pool from year-round operation to a less costly summer-only season.