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ELC board hears plans for city aquatic center

By Staff | Apr 19, 2017

The Estherville School Board received an update on the city’s plans to construct an outdoor aquatic center at its regular meeting on Monday.

City officials sent a letter to the school board last month about acquiring land currently owned by the school district.

Estherville City Administrator Penny Clayton said the pool committee is considering land south of the Regional Wellness Center or at Thoreson Park.

RWC Director Bob Grems said the RWC Board supports the city’s plan and there are many opportunities for sharing resources if the facility would be located next to the RWC.

“That’s how the RWC came about was through partnerships,” said Grems.

Clayton noted that there are advantages to having the aquatic center close to the RWC with infrastructure and parking already in place.

Grems noted that if located next to the RWC, there would be the possibility of sharing a manager and staff to make it more fiscally responsible.

Clayton said there are advantages to the Thoreson site also, maybe not as it presently is, but in future developments.

“It would also help with baseball parking,” she said.

Clayton said the pool committee has gone back to the “drawing board” in terms of the scope of the aquatic center. It may be up to six months or more before the committee has a design selected.

Current plans are projected for a $4 million facility that would require a voter approval of a bond referendum. Clayton said some of the amenities would include a zero-depth entry, a children’s play structure, a water walk, a slide, an area for community play, an area for diving and a rock climbing wall.

In response to a question if it would be similar to the Fairmont Aquatic Center, Clayton said, “Fairmont has separate pools. Here, we would have just one body of water.”

Clayton anticipates the new aquatic center would need a staff of at least seven while the current outdoor pool must requires a staff of five.

“Our existing pool loses are about $60,000 annually,” she said. “Anything less that would be considered a goal.”