Round Rock explores $25M aquatics center

The Anderson Mill Pool, which is used by the swim team at Westwood High School, is one of six community and YMCA pools used by swim teams in Round Rock ISD.

The Anderson Mill Pool, which is used by the swim team at Westwood High School, is one of six community and YMCA pools used by swim teams in Round Rock ISD.

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.


As President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris took their oaths of office, elected officials from around Texas took to Twitter. (Courtesy Adobe Stock Images)
President Joe Biden's inauguration spurs reactions from elected officials around Texas

As President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris took their oaths of office, elected officials from around Texas took to Twitter.

Feeding Texas hosted a Jan. 19 webinar to discuss legislative highlights for the 87th Texas Legislature. (Screenshot courtesy Feeding Texas)
Food insecurity in Texas' 87th Legislature: Hunger relief organization Feeding Texas to propose legislation addressing hunger

Hunger relief organization Feeding Texas hosted a webinar Jan. 19 to discuss increasing funding and accessibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in the 87th legislative session.

COVID-19 vaccines
DATA: Texas has vaccinated about 9% of estimated Phase 1 recipients

Over 1.1 million individuals from the Phase 1 population, which is estimated to include 13.5 million individuals total, have received at least one dose.

Bob Popinski, policy director of Raise Your Hand Texas, shared the organization's top education priorities for the ongoing legislative session. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
‘What does virtual learning and remote learning look like moving forward?': Raise Your Hand Texas policy director talks legislative priorities

Bob Popinski is the director of policy for Raise Your Hand Texas, an Austin-based organization committed to improving public education. He spoke with Community Impact Newspaper in late December about the 87th legislative session, which began Jan. 12.

H-E-B is preparing to accept coronavirus vaccine appointments through an online portal. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
H-E-B launches vaccine portal; Whipped Bakery opens in Leander and more top Central Texas news

Read the most popular news from the past week from the Central Texas area.

Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Glenn Hegar shared a new revenue estimate for the 2022-23 biennium Jan. 11. (Courtesy Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts)
Comptroller projects drop in state revenue, potential for economic uptick for next biennium

Despite the slight reduction in expected revenue for the state's 2022-23 budget, recovery could be on the horizon.

See how COVID-19 is impacting Williamson County. (Community Impact staff)
Williamson County adds more than 900 new cases Jan. 9-11

See how COVID-19 is impacting Williamson County.

After every decennial census, states and local jurisdictions must go through a process known as redistricting: redrawing the boundaries for representation. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
More congressional seats, equal populations: What redistricting means for Texas in 2021

Community Impact Newspaper spoke with Jeff Archer, executive director of the Texas Legislative Council, in January about the redistricting process that will be carried out by the Texas Legislature this year.

The acquisition of the Texas franchise by Peak Rock Capital was completed in early January. (Courtesy Shipley Do-Nuts)
Shipley Do-Nuts acquired by Austin-based private investment firm affiliate

The Texas franchise known for kolaches and doughnuts has been in business for more than 80 years.

Photo of H-E-B Fresh Foods sign
H-E-B launches COVID-19 vaccine registration portal, but awaits additional doses

Inidividuals in Phase 1A and 1B of distribution will be able make appointments through the portal once H-E-B replenishes its stock.

Central Texas must roll back business capacities, put elective surgeries on hold under state orders

Businesses in Hays, Travis and Williamson counties will have to reduce capacity from a maximum of 75% to a maximum of 50% under the state orders.