Wichita looking at several options for future of city pools

Swimming pool (NBC file photo)

WICHITA, Kansas – It certainly feels like summer is here, with schools out and the heat rising, more people are heading out to city pools. City leaders are looking to the future of those pools, and they pondering what to do with some of Wichita’s aging aquatic infrastructure.

The city owns 10 pools, 9 are open this year and the other is closed for repairs. The city will have about $18 million to spend on pools by 2020, $13 million of that will go toward pool projects.

The parks department is hosting forums to find out what people want from their city pools. One forum happened Tuesday.  Another is scheduled for June 9 at Villa Community Facility at 1029 N. Bitting at 6p.m.

They are passing out ballots with choices and are asking people to give their opinions.

“That ballot gives people the option to whether they want to look at repairing all of the pools in each one of the neighborhoods or actually accentuating and expanding some of those outdoor pools or looking at the option of actually having a central indoor pool,” said Troy Houtman, director of Parks and Recreation.

The parks department is looking for feedback on how to divide up about $13 of the $18 million the department will have for aquatics. Options include building a central indoor pool for $12 million, repairing and upgrading pools for $2 million each.  Replacing pools with a $300,000 splash pad is another option.

The city’s aquatics department is looking to bring a plan to the city council by this fall, so they can begin planning for construction for 2020.

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