SHERIDAN — Community feedback has indicated that Sheridan residents would like to see several new amenities installed at Kendrick Pool in conjunction with the city’s plans to renovate the facility, but city council members are concerned over whether the city can afford the upgrades.
Council is scheduled to vote on one of four conceptual designs Interstate Engineering created to give the community an idea of what could be included with the pool’s renovations. If council votes in favor of one of those concepts, it would authorize Interstate to move forward and design a 30% complete plan for the selected option.
Nearly 50% of the roughly 1,000 city residents who responded to Interstate’s conceptual designs over the last month indicated they would like the city to move forward with the largest design, which would include new amenities like a lazy river and water slides.
According to Interstate’s estimates, however, that design could cost between $4.7 and $5.7 million.
At a 30% design, Sheridan Public Works Director Lane Thompson said the city will have a better idea of what the total project would cost.
Regardless of which direction the city chooses to go, Kendrick Pool’s underlying infrastructure will need to be upgraded for the pool to remain viable in the long term.
The question before council will be whether it decides it wants to attempt to implement the amenities the community identified in phases or simply make the necessary infrastructure improvements to the existing pool facility.
In a phased approach, council could decide to make those infrastructure improvements with larger amenities in mind, so that if and when the city decides to install an amenity like a lazy river, the pool will have the foundation to support it.
Councilor Clint Beaver advocated the city move forward with the simple infrastructure repair option, raising concerns that, even in a phased approach, the planning associated with pursuing all of the additional amenities would prove to be very expensive.
Council Vice President Thayer Shafer, meanwhile, suggested giving the community a chance to raise funds for the pool if they truly wanted to see drastic upgrades to its facilities.
“If the community wants all of these other things on top of that, I’d say let’s look at private funding for it,” Shafer said. “We don’t have infinite taxing ability, but we certainly have a long history in this community of people coming forward with money if it’s something the community really believes in, the kids really believe in.”