Diving into aquatic center plans | SierraSun.com

Diving into aquatic center plans

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun

Emma Garrard/Sierra SunSam Arney, middle, teaches a swim lesson at the Truckee Pool Wednesday morning. The Truckee Donner Recreation and Park District is looking for comment on plans for an aquatic center at the district's new community center.

The Truckee Donner Recreation and Park District is seeking advice from the public on the aquatic center that is part of its planned Community Recreation Center.

Work has begun on the first phase of the recreation center, located on a 13.5-acre triangle between Donner Pass Road, Interstate 80 and Highway 89 north. Crews have started the groundwork for a double gymnasium, community classrooms and office space.

Later phases, totaling another 20,000 to 30,000 square feet, may include a bare-bones theater space and an aquatics center.

“This is just in planning right now, but plans include a lap pool, water slides, a lazy river, a therapeutic pool and a zero-entry pool,” said district General Manager Steve Randall. “That provides various activities for all levels of swimmers.”

Amanda Conk, the district’s aquatics coordinator, said a larger lap pool than what the district currently operates at Truckee High School, along with a recreation pool, is among the key elements of the preliminary plans.

“We would also like a zero entry ” like a beach, and a river that is 10 feet wide and snakes around, that people could use to walk against or float down,” Conk said.

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Randall said what comes after the first phase will depend on public comment.

“The next phase is yet to be determined,” Randall said. “Phase two could be the performing arts center, or the aquatics center, or both. That phase is probably four to six years out.”

While the district will fund the first phase by selling $25 million in bonds on the open market, therefore avoiding having to ask taxpayers, funding for the aquatic center remains undetermined, Randall said.

“It may go out as a bond vote,” he said.

Conk said a bond would not likely be issued next year, and the amount is still uncertain.

The center would have an entry fee, and could become a revenue generator for the district and community, she said.

“I’ve talked to a lot of people, and in just about every community the fact is, recreation pools make money,” Conk said.