Iowa Metropolis contemplating upgrading two swimming pools, closing one other

Swimmers dive into the pool in the beginning of the 50-yard freestyle occasion throughout a women’ highschool swim meet on the Mercer Park Aquatic Heart in Iowa Metropolis. (The Gazette)

Jeff Davis with the Iowa Metropolis parks and recreation division joined with services division employees to color the underside of the Metropolis Park Pool in Iowa Metropolis, Iowa, on Tuesday, Might 11, 2021. Employees from town’s services division used about 32 gallons of paint to cowl the over 70-year-old pool final yr. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

The Robert A. Lee Neighborhood Recreation Heart in Iowa Metropolis. (The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — Iowa Metropolis is weighing doable renovations — and a possible closure — for its metropolis swimming pools beneath the Collect Right here Recreation Grasp Plan.

The draft plan recommends renovating Metropolis Park Pool to make it extra accessible and meet quite a lot of wants. It additionally recommends including a heat water health pool to the Mercer Park Aquatic Heart Pool and shutting the pool on the Robert A. Lee Neighborhood Recreation Heart, which is in want of in depth restore.

The suggestions, which additionally embrace enhancements to Scanlon Gymnasium and athletic fields, have been put collectively after final yr’s public enter occasions and evaluation from BerryDunn, the consulting agency working with town.

The plan, which is able to span 10 to fifteen years, is supposed to re-imagine recreation whereas additionally evaluating present situations, life span and programming. The goal of the master plan is to form the services and applications to raised serve the neighborhood, in response to town.

Juli Seydell Johnson, town’s parks and recreation director, stated the plan imagines a special solution to do providers — a balanced plan with daring, large concepts. That stated, Seydell Johnson emphasised these are draft concepts and town desires to listen to extra suggestions from residents.

“There are some pretty giant, large image issues that we’re serious about, so we actually wish to hear from the general public,” Seydell Johnson stated.

As a part of the second section of neighborhood suggestions, town held two open home occasions earlier this week and is asking residents to submit feedback on-line by means of June 4 by going to

Metropolis Park Pool renovations

The 73-year-old Metropolis Park Pool must be renovated, stated Dannielle Wilson, a recreation advisor with BerryDunn.

The pool at the moment loses 30,000 gallons of water per day, Wilson stated.

“Certain, we might attempt to hold band-aiding, however a band-aid is barely going to carry this age of a pool collectively for therefore lengthy, and actually, the advice is you’ve acquired to maneuver ahead with renovating it,” Wilson stated.

Neighborhood suggestions indicated residents would really like a brand new design however wish to hold a number of the facility’s authentic character.

Potential renovations embrace gender impartial locker rooms, extra shade, zero depth entry, elevated accessibility, lap lanes, deep water with diving boards, drop slide and a present pool.

Closing pool at Robert A. Lee after including to Mercer

The 58-year-old pool on the Robert A. Lee Recreation Heart is in want of “intensive and costly restore,” in response to the consulting agency.

The fee to totally renovate the Robert A. Lee pool and locker rooms is estimated between $4.5 million and $5 million.

“One of many issues that must be thought-about is evaluating the associated fee to renovate this pool to doubtlessly constructing one thing new at Mercer,” stated Elsa Fischer, a senior advisor with BerryDunn.

The advice is so as to add a heat water pool subsequent to the prevailing Mercer Aquatic Heart Pool, which is in good situation, and shut the pool at recreation heart as soon as the nice and cozy water pool is added. Including the nice and cozy water pool to Mercer is estimated between $8.1 million and $9 million.

Along with the renovation price, Seydell Johnson listed a number of the the explanation why the advice is to shut the Robert A. Lee pool. She stated individuals requested a heat water pool with higher parking, which has been a “constant request” for the final 5 years.

Moreover, she stated pool’s use is decrease and town is taking a look at the way to be environment friendly with staffing.

The advice to shut the pool at Robert A. Lee is provided that the nice and cozy water pool is added, Seydell Johnson stated. As soon as closed, the pool at Robert A. Lee might then be repurposed.

Different alternatives

The consulting agency additionally outlined potential renovations for Scanlon Gymnasium, together with an indoor strolling monitor which was extremely requested.

Different renovations embrace a further gymnasium, well being and health area, multipurpose areas and an interactive place for video games and esports.

Residents are additionally requested to supply suggestions and assist prioritize enhancements at 5 athletic area websites.

  • Upgrades at Metropolis Park: ball diamond enhancements and pickleball/tennis estimated at $4 million to $5 million
  • Eastside Sports activities Advanced: ball diamonds, rectangular fields, canine run, picnic areas, loop path, restrooms and playground estimated at $35 million to $40 million
  • Kickers Sports activities Advanced: design grasp plan and implement suggestions estimated at $50,000 for the plan and $1 million to $2 million for suggestions
  • Mercer Park: ball diamond renovation, new concessions roof, shade options, LED lights, pickleball renovation/growth estimated at $3 million to $4 million
  • Napoleon Park: ball diamond enhancements estimated at $1.5 million to $2 million

The draft suggestions, together with public enter, shall be introduced to the Iowa Metropolis Council throughout its June 21 assembly.

After receiving suggestions from the general public and council, the Parks and Recreation Division will work on finalizing the plan later this summer season or early fall, Seydell Johnson stated.

Feedback: (319) 339-3155; [email protected]

Iowa City considering upgrading two pools, closing another

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