MOUNDRIDGE — The Kansas Department of Commerce awarded Moundridge a Community Development Block Grant of $1 million to construct a new swimming pool.
The pool design proposed by a strategic planning committee for the grant application included a diving board, slide, bathhouse, shade structure, four lap lanes and a zero-depth entry area. With an estimated cost of $2.4 million, Moundridge will need to provide $1.4 million in bonds to match the grant funds.
"This is a great opportunity for the community, if they want it, to make a new pool with the funds available," said Moundridge City Administrator Randy Frazer.
Moundridge's current pool, built around 1970, is a 25 meter-long heated pool with two spring boards, a water slide and a separate baby pool. It does not have ADA-compliant restroom facilities.
"It's still functional ... we can keep limping along for a while with it, but its days are coming to an end," Frazer said.
If supported, the pool will be constructed in a new location.
"That was one of the stipulations of the grant; we can't build in the flood plain — and that's where our parks are," Frazer said.
In the grant proposal, the suggestion was made to build the new pool next to Greer Gymnasium on the spot where the old gym building was recently demolished. The land is owned by the Moundridge school district.
"There's kind of a vision in the future of that being more of a community center ... and being a multi-generational recreation area for the community," Frazer said. "The swimming pool would be one piece of that puzzle."
The city will be sending out a survey to ask the community what they would like to see in regard to a swimming pool.
"The next steps now are to get community input, making sure they really do want us to move forward with it and getting a design that everyone wants," Frazer said.
Moundridge residents will be asked if they feel a new pool is needed and, if so, what features it should have. They will also answer whether they would support an additional property tax or sales tax to fund a new pool or whether the city should use other revenues for its construction.
If the project is supported and weather delays are not an issue, a new pool could be opened as early as next swim season.
"We'd like to have a really good feel from the community in the next two months, then we're going to have to move forward with the engineering," Frazer said.
Contact Patricia Middleton by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her stories on Twitter at @MacSentinel.