Round Rock officials consider options for possible swim facility

Round Rock city and school officials are contemplating the best way to fund and build a multimillion-dollar swim facility, a project in the works for more than a year that has gained the attention of the local swim community.


A feasibility study and presentation by aquatics consultant Counsilman-Hunsaker has been completed, and now school and city officials are contemplating the next steps.


The feasibility study on the natatorium, or large-scale indoor swim center, is a collaborative project funded by Round Rock ISD; the city of Round Rock; CHASCO Family YMCA; and the Avery family, which would donate land in north Round Rock across from the Texas A&M Health Science Center for the facility. The parties jointly funded the study to determine the building’s financial requirements in addition to the elements necessary to meet the needs of a growing area swim community.


“The study clearly said there is a need,” Round Rock Mayor Pro Tem Craig Morgan said. “What we have to do is determine where that sweet spot is [for facility size and who will pay for what percentage of it].”



Why there is a need


For years, RRISD high schools and private swim clubs have used six public and neighborhood pools to hold practices and meets, including an indoor facility at the YMCA.


Schools and private teams have said the existing pools do not accommodate their numbers, and the limited space has restricted the number of swimmers who can participate.


Students have consequently been turned away from high school swim programs because of the limited slots available, said David Hansen, president of the Round Rock Dolphins, a summer league swimming organization.


Two public pools run by the city where high school and private swim teams practice are Lake Creek and Micki Krebsbach. The school swim teams and club teams pay to use the lanes to practice and compete. The district spends about $80,000 per year renting the facilities, said Corey Ryan, RRISD executive director of communications and community relations. An eight lane pool cannot accommodate a team larger than 40 swimmers, Ryan said.Round Rock officials consider options for possible swim facility



Picking a plan


George Deines, project manager for Counsilman-Hunsaker, presented the findings from the yearlong study, which revealed two options—one priced at about $24 million and another priced at about $31 million—that could meet the city and school district’s needs.


The proposed $31 million facility would consist of an Olympic-sized pool with platforms and springboards, a separate warmup and warm-down area, and seating for up to 1,500 spectators. The study found the annual operating subsidy needed to run such a facility is $750,000.


The $31 million facility would be comparable to pools at Texas A&M University and The University of Texas, which hosts state meets, Deines said.


“This facility would compete with any facility across the state, and it could garner national attention,” he said.


A smaller plan was also proposed, which would cost $24 million. This plan would eliminate the dive pool and call for approximately 600-800 spectator seats.


The presentation showed the operational subsidy would be $500,000 a year.


Deines said such a facility would help fulfill the school district’s needs, he said, but attract fewer competitions.


A medical rehab center, which the YMCA is funding, is also included in the plans.Round Rock officials consider options for possible swim facility



Determining Value


Families who travel to area meets spend about $1,000 per family per meet through meals, hotel stays and other accommodations, according to Deines.


The economic impact from the $31 million facility could be as high as $3.5 million in direct spending annually, Deines said. He said the facility could bring in an additional $1.5 million every three to five years if the facility attracts national-level events.


Morgan said that the dollars generated from patrons of the natatorium could help the city’s property tax base.


“[A swim facility] adds to the [city’s] ‘Sports Capital’ brand, No. 1, and there is no natatorium [in the area] other than The University of Texas that can host the bigger events,” he said. “For the city it brings in more sales tax; [and] it brings in more hotel/motel taxes.”


Charles Logan, director of the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center at the University of Texas, said demand for the UT facility and restrictions that prohibit it from hosting summer league events means UT cannot accommodate the number of swim events in the area.


“Another natatorium would be fantastic,” he said.



Next steps


[totalpoll id="178880"]


Ryan said the school district plans to form its citizens bond committee in October. He said that group would work through February to assess and prioritize the district’s needs, and the board of trustees will determine which projects should go before voters in May. Depending on the trustees’ recommendation, the school district could include several projects tied to its strategic plan in the bond package, including an early childhood education center for prekindergarten students as well as a sixth high school.


Once the school district’s board of trustees and the city determine the total amount needed for the facility, then the city and district can collaborate and determine what percentage of the project will be funded by the city, Morgan said.


Morgan said after the project partners agree to percentages, then the next step will be for the school district bond to go before voters for approval.


The board of trustees would have to call for an election no later than Feb. 17 for the natatorium to go on the May ballot, Ryan said.

SHARE THIS STORY


MOST RECENT

A candidate for interim city manager will be selected from the Texas Municipal League. (Courtesy city of Huttto)
Hutto seeks to hire interim city manager from Texas Municipal League

The city of Hutto will seek a retired city manager from the Texas Municipal League to serve as Hutto's interim city manager.

Michael Angelos Gourmet Foods prepares, processes and packages a line of Italian frozen dishes at a facility in Round Rock.
18 new jobs, $11M facility upgrades: Michael Angelos Gourmet Foods ups investment in Round Rock

Local manufacturer of frozen foods Michael Angelo’s Gourmet Foods plans to upgrade its facilities, hire additional staff with a $290,000 economic incentive boost.

(Courtesy Fotolia)
Engineering consulting firm BGE to bring at least 80 new jobs to Round Rock

BGE, Inc. will create at least 80 jobs in Round Rock with an average salary of $80,000, according to an economic development agreement approved by Round Rock City Council Dec. 5.

Nutty Brown Cafe & Amphitheatre is a south Austin music venue that first opened in July 2000. (Community Impact Staff)
Nutty Brown Amphitheatre gets 2-year extension to build $10M venue in Round Rock

A highly-anticipated outdoor music venue has delayed its Round Rock opening once again.

Louisiana Crab Shack is set to open two Round Rock locations on Gattis School Road and Palm Valley Boulevard. (Lacy Klasel/Community Impact Newspaper)
Louisiana Crab Shack to open 2 Round Rock locations

The Austin-based seafood chain currently has restaurants in Austin, Georgetown, Cedar Park and Waco.

Spirit of Texas' newly opened taproom features offerings such as a vanilla porter and India pale ale as well as amber and blonde ales. (Courtesy Shaun Siems)
Spirit of Texas expands Pflugerville distillery, adding brewery

Spirit of Texas officially opened its taproom Nov. 8.

Jason Ball, Round Rock Chamber president and CEO, discussed the vision and values of the chamber as well as local trends to watch in 2020. (Taylor Jackson Buchanan/Community Impact Newspaper)
468 new jobs, $30.4M investment in 2019: Round Rock Chamber is 'strong,' CEO says in annual address

Round Rock Chamber President and CEO Jason Ball delivered the 2019 State of the Chamber address Dec. 3.

Travis County commissioners received their sixth update on the 2017-22 bond program at a Dec. 3 meeting. (Emma Freer/Community Impact Newspaper)
Travis County 2017-22 bond program remains on track thanks to innovations

Fifty-six of the 60 projects included in the five-year bond program Travis County voters approved in 2017 are in active development, according to a Dec. 3 presentation made to the Commissioners Court.

The Williamson County seat is located in Georgetown at 710 S. Main St. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Williamson County sees one of the largest year-over-year employment increases in the U.S.

Williamson County continues to see its unemployment rate decline.

REAL ESTATE DATA: Homes on the market in Round Rock, Pflugerville, Hutto

Residential real estate listings added to the market between 11/5/19 and 11/26/19 were provided by the Austin Board of Realtors.

For a 10-month period, the city of Pflugerville had failed to adequately treat its water supply. City officials added that despite the treatment technique violations, the water had been and continues to be safe to drink. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Pflugerville officials seek to remedy city's water treatment failure

The city of Pflugerville failed to meet state-mandated water treatment levels from October 2018 through September 2019, excluding December 2018 and April 2019.

Back to top