116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
MARION — Marion will see a new aquatic center in the coming years and is asking residents what features it will include and where they would like to see it located.
The city held a public meeting Wednesday evening, updating residents on the results of a fall survey about an aquatic center’s features. The city is now asking residents which concept and location they like best.
The survey on the city’s website is open through May 16.
The three options for an aquatic center location are Area 1, off Highway 100 across from Wanatee Park; Area 2 east of Highway 13 and north of Highway 151; and Area 3 on Tower Terrace Road, east of 10th Street.
The Marion Municipal Swimming Pool at 1855 35th St. opened in 1987 and has seen attendance drop in the past few years, Parks and Recreation Director Seth Staashelm previously told The Gazette. The aging facility is also experiencing ongoing and increasing maintenance.
The city’s 2016 Master Park Plan and Marion’s ImagiNEXT project identified a new outdoor aquatic center as a top desire among residents. In response, the city created the Outdoor Aquatic Center Feasibility Study to develop a plan for the facility.
Staashelm said construction of the facility is six to seven years away, which is the same amount of time left in the current pool’s “life.”
“We need to figure out cost of construction,” he said Wednesday night. “There will be multiple funding sources in play: grants, sponsors and donations, but ultimately this will have to go to a bond vote. The community will have to take a vote someday and decide if they want a project like this in the community.”
Staashelm said if the community ultimately decides to keep the current pool instead of building a new aquatic center, it would cost millions to keep it functioning.
If a new facility is built, the land around the current pool would become a new city park.
In the city’s first survey, residents said they wanted a “modern aquatic center” with the most popular amenities being a lazy river, large waterslides and an obstacle course.
Residents also said the cost of using such a center is important to them.
More than 1,300 residents responded to the survey, exceeding the city’s goal of hearing from 500 to 600 people.
During the Wednesday meeting, three concepts for the aquatic center, designed by Waters Edge Aquatic Design from Kansas, were presented. Each concept had most of the same amenities in varying layouts.
Amenities included a lazy river, large slides, wave pool, obstacle course, splash pad, diving boards, a lap pool and a leisure pool.
Each concept doubles the water surface of the current municipal pool. The only difference in the total water surface area between the three concepts came in the differing lengths of the lazy river.
The Marion municipal pool has a water surface of 13,391 square feet. The smallest of the three new concepts is 26,289 square feet.
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