Pool design concept dives into action
Preliminary designs for the Art Dague Pool renovation remain conceptual. But if Tuesday’s presentation and discussion with the Rifle community is any indication, an indoor pool is still very much in the minds of Rifle residents.
“One common denominator that kept coming up on surveys was an indoor pool,” said architect Brian Beckler. “We would love to continue talking about an indoor pool, but we used the money available to create a design for the best outdoor pool, while balancing community needs and the cost of construction and operation.”
The presentation included images of several different pool designs from around the country, features from which are used in the preliminary design. However, most of the discussion centered on the future of an indoor pool in Rifle.
“This is a concept, it’s a hope, it’s not iron-clad, “ Parks and Recreation Director Tom Whitmore said. “We can’t do an indoor facility with the current budget, but we can make a really good outdoor facility that will attract people.”
While parks and recreation staff looked what it would take for an indoor pool, Whitmore says that the cost gets so high so fast that they didn’t feel it would get much bang for their buck.
“To keep inside existing budget and to ensure that no new tax would be needed, indoor pool concepts were phased out,” he explained. “People who want an indoor pool may be concerned that if we do this we might not get an indoor pool. We want to have something that’s done well and draws people, but an indoor pool will never go away.”
Whitmore does not believe that an outdoor pool renovation would close the door on an indoor pool.
“An indoor pool will always be on the list,” he said.
He also believes that the potential revenue from a new outdoor pool could make an indoor pool more feasible in the future.
Deciding that an outdoor pool would give Rifle the most bang for their buck, Beckler began to design the best pool possible using a community survey from 2015 as well as parks and recreation surveys from recent years.
Those surveys indicated that residents wanted a spot in town for families and kids to enjoy.
“We wanted something that was unique to Rifle and unique no matter where you are,” Beckler explained. “We looked at what kind of amenities are often successful and what are the most cost-effective equipment. We wanted a place that would be fun for young kids, families and teenagers.”
The design will include a variety of new family features such as a lazy river-bubble pit and a family whirlpool, as well as features for young kids and teenagers, such as tube and speeds slides and more.
While the current pool features slides, the new slides will be bigger, faster and more fun for local kids to enjoy.
The preliminary budget estimate for the renovation is $5,700,000, but Whitmore assures that no new tax funding will be sought for the project. Approval to finance the project will be put on the ballot at the Sept. 12 municipal election and, if approved, the city would borrow funds to complete the project.
The loan would be repaid from revenue in the Parks and Recreation Fund, Whitmore said.
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