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.


Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde said Sept. 23 though the district has been awarded emergency funding, it has only had access to a fraction of it. (Maggie Quinlan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin ISD superintendent lays out barriers to receiving emergency funding

Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde said while it seems that the district has received "millions and millions," it has been able to use a fraction of granted emergency funds.

The Austin metropolitan statistical area surpasses COVID-19 pandemic job losses. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin regains all pandemic job loss, San Antonio nearly misses top 10 best performing metros in the country

The Austin and San Antonio metropolitan statistical areas continue their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

A volunteer unloads food from a truck during the Central Texas Food Bank's April 4 event to feed families in need at Nelson Field in Austin. (Courtesy Central Texas Food Bank)
Central Texas Food Bank delivering boxes of food directly to homes through 2021

Some families will be eligible to have boxes with food for 25 meals delivered by Amazon.

Williamson County Commissioner Court members joined Taylor City Council members for a joint meeting to pass economic development agreements. (Joe Warner/Community Impact Newspaper)
Williamson County, city of Taylor sign economic agreements, await Samsung commitment

$17B plant would employ 1,800 full-time Samsung employees, thousands of contractors

Rethink35 co-founder Adam Greenfield speaks during a news conference Sept. 1. Event organizers set up a pink line to represent how wide TxDOT's I-35 expansion would extend. (Benton Graham/Community Impact Newspaper)
Coalition of Austin council members, transportation advocates, neighborhood businesses unite against TxDOT’s I-35 plan

The coalition said that TxDOT needs to factor in climate change, connectivity between East and West Austin, and impacts on local businesses to its proposal.

Children arrive for the first day of school Aug. 17 at O Henry Middle School in Austin, where the public school district mandated mask wearing against Gov. Greg Abbott's order. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas Education Agency allows mask mandates after federal lawsuit

The Texas Education Agency, facing a federal discrimination lawsuit, will not enforce Gov. Greg Abbott's masking order.

Waterloo Park will reopen to the public Aug. 14 at 10 a.m. (Courtesy/Buie & Co.)
Waterloo Park reopening event postponed due to COVID-19 Stage 5 risk

The Waterloo Park reopening ceremony, originally planned to feature a jazz ensemble, folkorico dance performances and a ribbon cutting ceremony, is cancelled due to the Stage 5 COVID-19 risk.

The largest metro areas across Texas drove population growth across the state, according to the 2020 U.S. Census. (Courtesy Visit Houston)
Newly released U.S. Census data shows metropolitan areas drove Texas population growth

The gap between Texas’ Hispanic population and non-Hispanic white alone population is shrinking.

All Austin public school students, including those learning virtually, will have access to free lunches through June 2022. (Courtesy Austin ISD)
Austin ISD giving free lunch, breakfast to all students for 2021-22 school year

All students, including those attending school virtually, will have access to free meals through the federally funded program.

Photo of a hospital corridor
Region including Travis, Williamson, Hays counties down to 2 staffed ICU beds

Austin Public Health representatives say it is staffing, not space, that currently presents the greatest limitation.