City Commission makes decisions on aquatics facility

The Garden City Commission approved a schematic design for the new aquatic center at Tuesday’s regular meeting.

Confluence Landscape and Architecture, the city’s architect for the new aquatic facility, gave an overview of the schematic design of the project.

The new facility will re-utilize some of the old buildings and facilities.

For example, the existing bathhouse will be re-utilized for restrooms and cabanas and the existing splash pad will remain, but with added shade sails.

The existing parking lot will also be utilized as much as possible, so new mill and overlay is expected, however it will be also be expanding to allow for more stalls.

New construction on the project will include a new administration building, concessions area, a mechanic room, locker area and the pools and slides.

Hank Moyers, Confluence project manager, said in the design they tried to incorporate as much shade as they possible could into the administration and concessions areas and the deck areas.

“One of the other elements that we tried to incorporate more of in the schematic design process is some additional sun-turf areas,” he said. “Places for people to go out out and lounge around, spread their picnic blankets out or their beach towels out and just have some areas where they can sit in the grass and hang out.”

The new facility will include a zero depth entry point, which will have a walk-in style entry, said Dough Whiteaker of Confluence. That area will include a play structure with sprays and things that appeal to a younger user group and parents who don’t want to necessarily get wet.

There will also be a “social zone,” which is a transition space from the shallower water with a 3 1/2 ft. to 5 ft. depth. It will include some bench seating and will be a launching to the lazy river.

The lazy river is 305 ft. long and 10 ft. wide. There will be two paths for the river, one where people can go through and get wet with geyers and sprays and one that’s more gentle without those water features.

Additionally there is a slide tower with three different levels and several slides. Some of the slides require an inter-tube and some slides that don’t.

There is also a 50 meter pool, that can be used for swimming competitions and practices. It has diving blocks on both ends and 10 lanes for 50 meter course for competition. It also has a Ninja course.

Behind the 50 meter pool there is a spectator seating gallery, which will have some sort of shading mechanism over it.

Whiteaker said the facility is dynamic.

“This facility has a lot of great multi-generational appeal to the youth of all ages and abilities and it's going to be designed to be very cost efficient to operate, maintain and very durable over the years that it will be operational,” he said.

In other business, the commission chose McCown Gordon as the construction manager at risk for the project.

In addition the commission approved boring at the pool site.

Assistant City Manager Jennifer Cunningham said the boring is necessary to get a jump on the new aquatic facility project.

“One of the really important things they're going to need is to understand the makeup of what is under the facility,” she said. “Boring the holes that are attached to this are crucial.”

Todd Knight, principal in charge at McCown Gordon, said the boring is important to understanding what the soil conditions are in and around the pool, especially considering the pool has been losing water for years.

“That will dictate the foundation design for all of the components on the project site,” he said. “We really need that information, because of course the first thing you design on any of these facilities is the foundation systems, and then you go up. That first piece of information is critical for the schedule of this project.”

In other business:

The commission voted 3-2, with commissioner Manny Ortiz and mayor Troy Unruh dissenting, to table making a decision on whether or not to have a 2020 pool season until the commissions next meeting.

The commission also saw theming and name options for the new aquatic facility. The public can take a survey on the theme and name by visiting