Semi-private cabanas to be added to pool project, shooting range bid accepted

Meghan Flynn
Garden City Telegram
The Garden City Commission approved the addition of four semi-private cabanas to be added to the Garden Rapids at The Big Pool project Monday.

Four semi-private cabanas have been added to the Garden Rapids at The Big Pool project.

The Garden City Commission approved the addition at its regular meeting Tuesday.

Aaron Stewart, Garden City Parks and Recreation director, said rental space was included in the original design, it could either be one big rental space or could be divided into two smaller spaces.

The cabanas would be a more a bit more intimate spaces, enclosed on three sides with shade structures that could be rented out more easily rather than renting out the entire pool.

"We do believe that these would be a highly popular item to have there to rent for birthday parties or family get-togethers or just so you have your own space while we're operating," he said.

Stewart said the cabanas would be a good revenue stream for the pool.

"It's a more equitable availability to have party rentals, the open spaces being obviously at the lowest end verses semi-private, a little more intimate, so that price is a little bit higher," he said. "We do think they would make a good revenue stream for the pool and it adds in additional rental space."

The cost for the cabanas addition is $75,068.69, with $69,672 coming from the city's Capital Improvement fund and remaining funds coming from the Parks and Recreation as needed.

Prior to the meeting there was a discussion to bringing power and lighting to the cabanas, which will cost an additional $6,000. The total project cost is approximately $81,000.

Jennifer Cunningham, Garden City assistant city manager, said the cabanas are only being included in the project now because the idea didn't come up until Stewart joined The Big Pool team when the city's Parks and Recreation Department was created when it merged with the former Parks Department and Recreation Commission.

"After he brought it up I started doing research to see what this looked like in other locations and it's highly popular," she said. "Aaron's rates are probably a third to a half of what it is elsewhere, which is incredible. I do believe that what he's put together is good."

Cunningham said the cabanas will be a good addition to the pool and a good revenue source especially as the pool is expected to see max capacity over and over for the first couple of years.

"People are going to be looking for places, especially people who are coming to visit and are planning to stay for the entire duration of the day, they're going to be looking for a place to stuff all of their stuff," she said.

Commissioner Deb Oyler believes the cabanas are a good idea, having used them at other locations herself.

"They really are fantastic and a great revenue stream," she said. "I think the fact that you're thinking about it now and you can put in the footings and even if it won't be ready in time for the grand opening, at least having it planned ahead I think is better than waiting until next year and trying to retrofit all of that. I think it was a good decision."

The cabanas will not be completed by the time of the pool's grant opening on May 29, but should be done around the beginning to middle of July as they have to wait for the delivery and installation of the shade sails.

Also at the meeting, the Commission approved a bid for the Garden City Police Department Shooting Range Facility construction project.

Conco, Inc. of Wichita was selected as the contractor with a bid of $2,400,741.

GCPD Capt. Randy Ralston said the total project cost is $2,607,529, which is $107,529 higher than the original budget of $2.5 million.

The increase is understandable because the costs were last budgeted out in 2015 and the shooting range system has increased over $200,000 in costs since then, plus construction costs have increased due to materials shortages.

"Staff feels that the total project cost is within a reasonable deviation from the initial budget," he said.

Garden City Administrator Matt Allen said the project is being funded by sales tax collections and as collections have outpaced projections there should be enough funds to compensate for the increase project cost.

The project is expected to be complete by April 30, 2022.

In other business:

  • Lola Wilson and Jennifer Brock were appointed to the Garden City Local Housing Authority Board. Each will serve three year-terms.
  • Haley Evans was appointed to fill a vacant seat on the Cultural Relations Board.
  • A resolution was approved declaring the end of Garden City's financial emergency. The emergency was declared on Feb. 16 in response to the extreme cold weather's impact on the electric utility power supply costs. The city was approved for a loan from the state of Kansas for $10,074,119.15 on March 16, which was then used to pay the up front expenses due to the February weather and provide a necessary cash flow.
  • April was proclaimed as Child Abuse Prevention Month by mayor Roy Cessna.