February 26, 2013

The addition of a lazy river at the Carroll Family Aquatic Center would cost between $910,000 and $1.11 million, according to a study released to the Carroll City Council.

Lenexa, Kan.-based Water's Edge Design, which has been involved with more than 70 pool projects in Iowa, prepared a "Lazy River and Water Slide Feasibility Study" to help guide the council in decision-making about the possible addition of those features to the Carroll complex - which has posted an operating profit in each of the last four seasons.

A 400-foot lazy river would cost $1.11 million and a 300-foot feature would come in at $910,000, Water's Edge said in the report.

Councilwoman Carolyn Siemann suggested the city consider the longer version - as it would be challenging, if not logistically impossible, to extend a lazy river if demand called for it in the future.

"Lazy rivers, when they get packed, they aren't fun," Siemann said during a regular council session Monday night.

Dave Schwartz, an engineer and principal with Water's Edge, said it would be possible to include a wave-making feature in the lazy river for about $100,000.

"It's fun, but it's not necessary," he said.

Other options for the aquatic center included in the report are as follows: long raft slide, $700,000; shorter body slide, $500,000; bathhouse addition, $210,000; new heater for pool, $80,000; heater for lazy river, $45,000; ultraviolet system for the pool, $130,000; and ultraviolet system for the lazy river, $60,000.

Schwartz said there is demand in the aquatic center's market not being met with the current pool.

"Addition of the lazy river and a new slide should increase attendance, perhaps as much as 2 percent," the report said.

In 2009, the new outdoor aquatic center went up with a single pool basin, zero-depth entry, a small play feature, a six-lane short course lap area, a diving area and a water slide plunge pool. Both slides are speed slides. Voters in August of 2006 approved a referendum for $2.96 million in city funding for the pool - which cost an estimated $4.127 million at the time it opened.

According to Water's Edge, the current pool facilities and support structures are in good condition. No repairs are needed, the consultant said.

Water's Edge is recommending that the city create a long-term maintenance fund the aquatic center.

The feasibility study cost $12,200. What the council discussed Monday represents the preliminary elements of the report, Schwartz said. More information is expected to follow.

"Please consider this a start," Schwartz said.