116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
MARION — A new aquatic center in Marion could have three large waterslides, a wave pool, a lazy river and more, based on renderings presented to the Marion City Council this week.
Representatives from Waters Edge Aquatic Design presented the council with results from a community survey, new renderings and cost estimates, should the city decide to pursue the major project.
The Marion municipal pool, which opened in 1987, has four to five years of life left, City Parks and Recreation Director Seth Staashelm said. When it closes, the site at 1855 35th St. would remain a park.
“These are the first steps of many for where we need to be,” Staashelm said.
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.
The city would need 15 to 20 acres for the aquatic center and parking to accommodate Marion’s future growth, Staashelm said.
More than 1,300 residents who responded to a survey were divided on where to build the facility.
The two top choices were on Tower Terrace Road and Winslow Road, northeast of Linn-Mar High School; and off Highway 100 on the south side of Marion at 35th Street and Munier Road.
Waters Edge recommended the Highway 100 location due to its residential and highway access and room to expand.
The company said the survey indicated people’s highest interests were in fun features and amenities, the fees, classes and programs offered, and proximity to the respondents’ residences.
The design proposal features a lazy river, which could include some waves along with a current, Lauren Ozburn from Waters Edge said.
Next to the lazy river, the design shows three large waterslide — an open body slide, an open tube slide and a third slide, called a “boomerango,” where the rider gets on a tube and the slide shoots the rider down a slope, up a ramp and back down to the pool.
The design’s lap pool would have eight, 25-yard lanes and include starting blocks. The pool also features a “ninja cross,” an obstacle course with bars, wheels and swings.
The design also includes a wave pool, a diving pool, a kiddie pool and a splash pad.
The project would cost $22 million to $27 million, plus the cost of the land.
Staashelm previously told The Gazette such a project would include multiple funding sources, including grants, sponsors and donations.
“Ultimately, this will have to go to a bond vote,” Staashelm said in May. “The community will have to take a vote someday and decide if they want a project like this in the community.”
Staashelm also said it would cost millions to keep the current municipal pool functioning. He noted attendance there has declined over the last few years to an average of 26,000 visits a year.
A new aquatic center is projected to bring in more than 100,000 visits a year.
Admission fees for the new facility are now projected to be around $8, with a range of $3 to $6 for infants to toddlers, according to Waters Edge’s presentation.
An individual season pass could cost $130 for Marion residents and $163 for non-residents, while a family pass could cost $230 for residents and $288 for non-residents.
“We may need to raise those fees in a few years during the design process to see what the market is doing then,” Ozburn, of Waters Edge, said.
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