· MHK is widely recognized as a destination location for sporting events, concerts, conventions, and museums
· MHK is considered a health-conscious community with extensive hiking/biking trails, new community activity centers, and quality sports fields
· The lack of an indoor aquatics center in MHK is generally perceived as a significant, community quality of life deficit
o Professionals and families considering job offers in the MHK area have contacted the local club teams inquiring about indoor aquatics opportunities
o Professionals and families residing in MHK are known for weekend travel to surrounding cities for indoor aquatics
· A 2015 MHK Quality of Life Study identified an indoor aquatics center as a top 4 priority for city development; the other 3 have been realized
· The KSU natatorium is closed permanently
· MHK currently has no public indoor pool
· An initiative for an indoor aquatics center failed in 2005; however, that was considered an initiative for a second indoor community accessible pool, since MHK still had the KSU Natatorium
· December 2020, a small group of MHK residents decided to form the MHK Aquatics Group to explore options
· The MHK Aquatics Group considered multiple courses of action and upon approaching city management agreed to pursue a publicly funded and managed option
· The Group presented a proposal for a feasibility study to the City Commission in June 2021 which was approved
· The City Commission appointed a 15-member steering committee for the feasibility study in July 2021
- The steering committee’s 1st meeting was Aug 23 with study advisors from construction and design firms
· The city’s decision to close all pools during the summer of 2020 was related to the pandemic and budget shortfalls from decreased sales tax revenues
· The city’s decision to close CiCo during the summer of 2021 is related to the prolonged decrease in tax revenue and for life cycle maintenance
· An indoor aquatics center would be the “flag ship” pool and the primary revenue generating pool, and would not duplicate what other city pools offer (or what the Natatorium offered), but it would exceed their programming and accessibility
· No: Private pools are exclusive to their members’ specific needs, and they will not incorporate amenities widely suited to the safety, health and wellness of all MHK residents. The nearest other public pools are 20 miles+ away and not under the MHK tax base.
· The indoor aquatics center would be available to any fee-paying customer or group including, but not limited to, the following:
o Family leisure- Open swim hours
o USD 383 MHS boys and girls swim teams- programmed seasonal after/before school hours for practices and meets
o Swim lesson instructions- programmed
o KSU/MCC/MATC students and faculty- Open and/or programmed
o Club teams (Marlins winter short course season hours for practices and meets; Masters swimmers)- programmed
o Seniors- programmed
o Physical Therapy patients- programmed
o Special Olympics- programmed
o Autistic spectrum community- programmed
o Youth development organizations (Boys and Girls Club, etc.)- Open and programmed
o Fitness classes- programmed
o Advanced training (Scuba, lifeguard, Pool Operator certifications, ROTC, kayak, etc.)- programmed
· KSU officials have clearly stated that the existing structure and utilities are not safe or cost-effective for renovation.
Manhattan Parks and Rec will staff and operate the indoor aquatics center.
· An indoor aquatics center would strengthen Parks and Rec capacity to have have full time, year around staff, as well as a location to train lifeguards year around, prior to opening and staffing the seasonal pools.
· Site location and possible amenities which will determine cost are issues which the Steering Committee will explore and advise the City Commission.
· The steering committee has been guided through options considering multiple potential construction sites and Aquatics Center amenities and will make a recommendation based upon that research. .
· Air- the air quality of an indoor aquatic center is maintained with either forced air suspension for a dome or HVAC with rapid turn-over and circulation
· Light- the roof and walls may be constructed of a translucent, UV filtering material, with high intensity LED lighting during times of low ambient light.
· Water- water chemistry is more consistently maintained in an indoor structure due to set air/water temperatures and minimal, unfiltered, direct sunlight. Salt water could be explored as an option.
· Possibly. Covering the current CiCo facility would likely be most amenable, but also very limiting for programming, and the cost-effectiveness would be highly questionable due to the age of the current structure.
· No. CiCo would not enable hosting of competitive meets or simultaneous events.
· CiCo has limited deck space, only 6 lanes, small leisure amenities, and minimal bath house utilities which are not winterized.
· Limited space/amenities would greatly restrict programming, and would decrease the capability for self-sustainability.
· With maximal programming of a full-service facility and with an income-based sliding scale fee system, revenue could potentially meet or exceed expenses.
· There are similar sized communities that have built and operate sustainable indoor aquatics centers.
· There have been recent significant cuts in community Parks and Rec activity offerings.
· There are several quality of life stalled projects (for example, Blue Earth splash park, Anneberg pond aeration, etc.)
· It is expected that “Bread and butter” quality of life activities must be addressed in conjunction with the indoor aquatics center initiative in order for the community to rally behind it.
-YMCA relies heavily on a strong donation base and reportedly prefers not to attempt to compete with university donors in a small to midsize market.
-YMCA typically builds gyms primarily, and MHK has no need for more gym space. Their indoor pools are typically adjuncts to gyms.
-The Steering Committee will explore funding options, but the City is reportedly typically willing to work with private donors.