The city of Round Rock, Round Rock ISD and the YMCA are contemplating constructing a large indoor aquatics center on A.W. Grimes Boulevard. The center would be located on 10 acres of land donated to the YMCA by the Avery family, next door to the possible future site of a new RRISD high school at the intersection of A.W. Grimes and Old Settlers Boulevard.
Bob Cervi, Round Rock ISD chief operations officer, presented a plan for the center to the board of trustees at a March 3 workshop.
Each RRISD high school sends its swim team to a different city-owned or YMCA pool, according to the presentation. Only the Chasco YMCA Pool, which was built in 2010 with $2 million from the city of Round Rock and $4 million from the YMCA, is located indoors.
An aquatics facility would allow RRISD to host eight to ten district and regional swim meets per year, which would also attract overnight visitors and tourism to the city, according to the proposal.
The city and RRISD would share the cost of construction and operations; the YMCA would operate the facility and split pool hours between RRISD swim teams and the community, the proposal stated.
But the city’s return on investment for the facility was not economically viable, according to a feasibility study funded in 2015 by the city, RRISD, the Avery family and the YMCA, the results of which were part of the March 3 presentation.
The study showed the project would cost about $25 million and require an annual operating subsidy of $650,000.
Missouri-based Counsilman Hunsaker, which designs and develops aquatic facilities and conducted the study, is compiling a final report and presentation. The city, RRISD and the YMCA must decide if they wish to move forward on the project, according to the presentation.
RRISD Superintendent Steve Flores said the district, the city and the YMCA are in discussions about the proposal.
"The opportunity to open an aquatics center is something that members of our community have been talking about for years, and our board of trustees is interested in working with our leadership and community partners to make the best decision for our all students," Flores said.