pools

GARDEN CITY, Kansas — Garden City’s hand-dug swimming pool will not be filled for its 98th, and final summer season. The coronavirus is to blame.

However, the western Kansas town won’t be without a pool for long, as city commissioners approved up to $14 million on a new facility at the Big Pool site. It’s still not clear how the new pool will be financed.

Every summer since 1922, locals and tourists have flocked to Garden City’s Big Pool. Once promoted as “the world’s largest outdoor free concrete municipal swimming pool,” it holds around 2 million gallons of water. “Holds” might now be an overstatement.

City of Wichita

After voting in 2017 to close all but three public pools, the Wichita City Council is now going in a different direction.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

Nearly a year after deciding to spend $4 million for a new pool in District 1, Wichita city leaders are still unsure where to build it.

The City Council voted Tuesday to postpone the issue indefinitely until more information -- particularly about how to pay for the pool -- is presented.

Save McAdams Pool / Facebook

The Wichita City Council on Tuesday passed its 2018-19 budget, and voted to add $4 million to its long-term spending plan to eventually build a new pool in the northeast part of the city.

Passing the $590 million operating budget was not a problem.

Save McAdams Pool / Facebook

The Wichita City Council will hear more from the public on Tuesday about the decision to turn the closed McAdams pool into a splash pad. It was one of the first questions District 1 candidates addressed during a forum Sunday night.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

As temperatures rise this week parents are taking their children to splash pads in Wichita to cool off.

Illinoisian Liz Dunning is visiting relatives in Wichita. She says she and her two-year-old son Everett came to the nearby Riverside Park's splash pad for one reason: It’s hot.

She says the water playground is a good way to beat the heat and cool off. Plus it’s free.

“We have one up by us, but it’s not as good," she says. "It's always under maintenance or something wrong with it so.”

Splash Pad Locations:

Carla Eckels / KMUW

On Tuesday, the Wichita City Council is expected to vote on the Aquatics Master Plan that could close up to nine pools in the city.

Council members will look at several options and determine whether to renovate some of the pools and close others.

The only pool that would be certain to survive is located in College Hill. The other nine were constructed over 35 years ago and need infrastructure improvements.

The first option would retain five pools, while the second option would keep the College Hill pool open as the nine others become splash-pad type sites.

City of Wichita

The Wichita City Council is now considering three options for the future of its pools under the wide-ranging Aquatics Master Plan released earlier this year.

Carla Eckels, File Photo / KMUW

After being allotted $18 million for improvements, the City of Wichita’s Parks and Recreation Department has outlined a 7-year plan for its aquatics facilities.

The city currently owns ten aquatics parks, including a swimming pool at Edgemoor Park that has been closed due to maintenance issues since 2012.

In a plan that was presented to Wichita City Council members on Tuesday, the Edgemoor swimming pool would receive a significant remodeling, with an opening date in 2020.

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