The unanimous vote will spend an extra $350,000 now to design a water park that will include a lazy river, waterslides, an “activity pool,” a wet playground, a sprayground, a wave machine, a swimming pool for lessons and recreation, and 52-meter pool for competition.
The recreation pool, the wave machine and the 52-meter pool will be built last — but what order they’ll be built in still remains to be decided.
The city will have about $13 million to build the swim park once it receives the $10 million that The Surland Cos. promised to pay the city in exchange for the right to build 2,250 homes in southwestern Tracy starting in 2012. A lawsuit over an environmental impact report for those homes has stalled the project, though, and other bureaucratic hurdles must be overcome before Surland hands over cash to the city.
The recreation and 52-meter pools will be built after other amenities because they cost the most to build and maintain. The city is short on cash and expects to be so until the economy rebounds.
Parks director Rod Buchanan recommended the 52-meter pool be built last and the recreation pool be the next-to-last amenity constructed.
But several people who had been involved for years in the planning of an aquatics park, many of whom have had kids on swim teams, pushed hard to have construction of one of the swimming pools put higher on the priority list.
They pointed out years of town meetings showed a new pool or two were what the public wanted most.
“The community asked for a pool,” said Christina Frankel, “not an amusement park.”
Swimming pool supporter Marsha McCray said she’s excited about the center, but was “deeply disappointed” the 52-meter pool was recommended last on the to-do list.
“It’s kind of like planning the party and then not being invited,” she said.
Mayor Brent Ives agreed, and suggested the council swap out the 52-meter pool with the wave machine, which was going to be the sixth amenity built.
In the end, the council decided to hire a company to design the entire park so the city will have a firm price tag on each amenity and be better able to make a decision about what build down the road.
The timeline shown Tuesday has the aquatics park opening in 2013.