The City of Marysville is considering options for its swimming pool. MSA Design presented several options to council Monday, indicating the most preferred would be to build a recreation aquatics center at a new location and refurbish the existing swimming facility to be used as a lap and fitness pool primarily for adults and competition. A proposed design for the new facility is illustrated above. (Graphic submitted)
The consulting group hired to look at aquatics in Marysville is recommending the city keep the existing pool and build a new aquatics center as well.
Keith Hall, of MSA Sport, was at Monday night’s council work session to present the results of a nearly year-long needs assessment for city-wide aquatics. He said the study included an in-depth look at existing facilities, multiple public meetings, discussions with stakeholders and a public survey.
Hall said there is “strong support” in the community to both keep the existing pool and build a new facility.
Hall said that as part of the study his group looked at five options:
Option A would be to renovate the existing pool. No price was given for this option.
Option B would be to completely cover over the current pool and construct a new pool on the existing site with a cost of $9-$10 million.
Option C would be to build a new facility at a new location. That option would cost an estimated $14-$15 million plus the cost of acquiring land.
Option D would be to build a new recreation aquatics center on a new location and to refurbish the existing facility to be used as a lap and fitness pool primarily for adults and competition. Officials estimate this option could cost between $16-$19 million, an estimated $4-$5 million to make changes to the existing pool and $12-$14 million for the new facility.
Option E was to build a new recreation center and a separate new lap pool. No price was given for this option.
Hall said there is “a lot of tradition” at the existing pool and members of the community want to see it preserved, but many do not use it because it does not meet their needs and have the amenities they want.
“There is an incredible amount of support and understanding that the existing pool is deficient and needing expanding,” Hall said.
He added that, “we have seen a lot of pools in a lot worse condition, but it is just reaching the end of its life.”
He said Option B would provide a lot of water but no shade and no green space, both of which survey respondents indicated were a priority.
Hall said it became evident quickly that Option E, “doesn’t make a lot of sense.”
He said Options C and D were the ones that stood out to both the consultants and to survey respondents.
“The idea is, you do these improvements, your usage is going to increase,” Hall said.
The consultant said there is also “strong support for an indoor facility,” though that option was not explored.
He said Option D — refurbishing the existing pool and creating a new aquatics center — allows the community to keep the legacy pool and have new amenities.
“For a little bit more money, you get a lot more water and you get to spread out programming over two sites,” Hall told the council.
Recreation and Events Manager Amanda Morris said there are advantages to having a second site. She said that as the city grows, the number of memberships is growing, but she also recognizes the city will reach a maximum number of members soon. She added there are programming opportunities the city has discontinued or does not pursue because there isn’t space.
Hall said that Option D “is the right solution based on everything we are hearing.”
Referencing the new aquatics center, Council member Aaron Carpenter asked if there was “any idea where that could go.” He suggested a site in his ward.
“That would be a separate discussion down the road,” Council President Mark Reams said.
The consultant said his group tries to steer communities to use land they already own for new pool facilities.
Council members asked if the age of the existing facility has increased operation costs. Morris said it hasn’t but that’s because at times officials have delayed improvements to pay increased maintenance costs.
Hall said the actual pool, which he called “the vessel,” is still in good shape, but the mechanicals, the pool deck and the buildings are reaching the end of their useful lifespan.
He said that over the next three to four years, the maintenance cost to operate the older pool “is going to really start going up on you.”
Carpenter said he hates to see the city spending money to maintain the old pool if the same money could be used to refurbish it or create a new facility.
Council member Alan Seymour asked about staffing and operations cost for a second site.
Morris said administration is still working with MSA to determine staffing and operations costs for two sites. She said she hopes they will have a better idea of those costs “in the next couple of weeks, months.”
Hall said the existing pool could likely “sustain itself” by bringing in competitions and renting it to swim teams looking for dedicated space.
Hall said the new facility could be built while the current pool is in operation. He said renovation of the existing pool could be done during the off season.
As the work session came to a close, council adjourned into executive session to consider the purchase of property. They asked Hall to stay for that executive session, which lasted about 30 minutes.