New Kirksville pool plans moving forward, community center put on hold

Monday night, a meeting was held with the team spearheading the project, Kirksville City Council members and other city staffers. (KTVO/Ashley Hoak)

The plans to construct a new aquatic facility in Kirksville are moving forward, but bringing a community or programming center to town has been put on hold.

Monday night, a meeting was held with the team spearheading the project, Kirksville City Council members and other city staffers.

Earlier this summer, a similar meeting took place.

There, it was announced that the rough estimate for the aquatic center alone was between $8.3 million and $9 million.

Previous discussions focusing on this project also included the construction of a possible community center or programming space.

However, initial estimates on that project came with a price tag of $3.5 to $3.75 million.

Funds for this project are coming from the Half-Cent Parks and Recreation Sales Tax approved by Kirksville voters in April 2017.

Currently, the city does not yet have a full year of revenue generated from the tax.

But, based on the calculations and breakdown of current revenue and the 15-year term of the tax, Kirksville City Manager Mari Macomber previously told council the city can't afford to build "$11 million worth of stuff."

Because of that, council members said they understood there were not sufficient funds to construct both a new pool facility and community center at this time.

Kirksville Parks and Recreation Director Rodney Sadler said that although plans for a community center are not included right now, the project is not completely off the table.

"It just doesn't fit in this particular project, but that doesn't mean that we've stopped looking at the idea of a community center. I think we still need to look at the overall scope and what needs to be incorporated in a community center, define what it could mean to have a community center - more than just a meeting space, but multipurpose rooms that we can have programming for the community. So, it's not like we are going to keep looking at it, it's just not going to be included in this particular project."

Now that the team has fine-tuned the plans and numbers, the new estimate on the cost of the aquatic facility is $8.5 million. The new indoor and outdoor pool facility will be located near the current aquatic center at Rotary Park.

The project team says it hopes to begin construction on the pool facility on June 1, 2019.

The new Kirksville Aquatic Center is slated to open on Memorial Day in 2020.

Sadler adds that while building a new pool is a priority, other parks in the City of Kirksville will also receive necessary updates and improvements.

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