Archive for Wednesday, December 25, 2002

Pool aims to serve older Eudorans, too

December 25, 2002

Designers, city officials and community members want to make sure a proposed new city swimming pool has something to offer everyone in Eudora, especially people without the children for whom pools are usually designed.

At a community meeting Dec. 18, participants discussed how the pool could pique the interest of older adults. Suggestions included offering specific times for seniors to use the pool and creating relaxing features like water jets and benches lining the pool wall, or a vortex area, which spins the water around like a whirlpool.

Prompted by suggestions he'd heard in the community, City Council member Rex Burkhardt suggested adding a hot tub, but pool designers said in summertime Kansas that would be an impractical and potentially dangerous ammenity. Burkhardt said he thought jets or a vortex pool would be a good compromise, because many seniors just wanted a place to relax that maybe had a little warmer water.

After the community meeting, in which city leaders wanted Eudorans to speak up about what they would want in a pool, the designers took away a list of features with which to tweak the designs. Suggestions included more shade structures both on the deck and in the water, as well as separating a beach-like area from the lap lanes, thus creating separate areas for younger and older children. Parents and those who run the pool asked floating toys be kept at a minimum because of the discipline and supervision problems they caused.

Instead, designers were asked to design waterpark features for younger children, like a flat surface children walk across with water shooting up at random. Parks and recreation director Dianna Beebe said that at pools she'd visited the toddlers had been especially enamored with that feature. However, pool workers will have to be trained specifically for lifeguarding children using waterpark features.

Participants liked the idea of having slides separate from the main pool because they would not only disperse pool-goers throughout the facility, keeping swimming areas less crowded, but privileges to ride the slides could bring in additional revenue. The pool could be built with a twisting slide with the possibility of adding a drop "thrill" slide later, which if thrilling enough could draw customers not only from Eudora but from the area, too.

Moreover, designers said some features could be switched around and traded in and out, keeping the pool new and fresh so regular patrons wouldn't lose interest.

Beyond water jets and slippery slides, the meeting also spurred the idea to include a meeting room in the main building that could be used for parties and other activities not only when the pool was open but also year-round.

City Administrator Mike Yanez said after the designers had a chance to integrate the suggestions into the design, the city would have another community meeting some time in January.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.