Name chosen for new aquatics center

Meghan Flynn
The Big Pool sits at 504 E. Maple St. The City Commission voted to not have a 2020 summer season at the pool.

The new Garden City aquatics center now has a name — Garden Rapids, with the tag line “at the Big Pool”.

The commissioners voted 4-0 in favor of the new name.

The name was one of four name and theme options given to commissioners at the May 2 meeting. Following that meeting a survey was activated online for community members to weigh in.

The names were Garden Rapids, Thunder Basin, Garden Oasis and World of Water.

One hundred and eighty-three people responded to the online survey ranking the names and accompanying themes.

Garden Rapids was the leader by a small margin with Garden Oasis and Thunder Basin at a tie and World of Water tailing behind.

Terry Berkbuegler of the design team with Confluence, the architectural firm for the project, said it’s important to have the name and theme as soon as possible because it influences the color choices, some of the signage and graphics, etc.

“Once we have this input from you then there will be a process by which we'll be bringing back more details, design of some of those parts and pieces for you,” he said. “There will still be opportunities, that's something we also hope to be able to engage the community in the design process, or in some of those more aesthetic related options as well.”

Commissioner Shannon Dick said he liked that the name options included animals as it ties into the zoo.

“As a family activity The Big Pool and the Zoo, you probably can't beat it in southwest Kansas for the price, for the value that you get,” he said. “I think that any way that we can continue to tie those two projects together would be better.”

Commissioner Deb Oyler said Garden Rapids was the name that seemed to stick best with the people she talked to about the new name.

She also like the name because it has “Garden” in it and she like the otter included in the theme.

“Honestly there aren't any bad names,” she said. “I like Thunder Basin, but I think for me Garden Rapids was one, that was also one that just seemed to resonate well with a lot of the people that I visited with.”

Dick said no matter the name the new facility should be tagged with “at the Big Pool” because that’s what people will always call it when they say they’re going to the new facility.

“I think that is probably a way that we can still put a nod to that and acknowledge that this aquatics facility for Garden City is the Big Pool,” he said. “It's not necessarily what's there, but the idea of that large water facility is the Big Pool for Garden City.”

Oyler agreed.

“I oftentimes forget what a water park in a community is called, so I usually just say water park at whatever community,” she said. “So I think you're right, I think people are just going to call it The Big Pool or the new Big Pool.”