By STEVE SOUTHWELL
About 50 residents participated in a public meeting designed to get input about the planned $38 million multigenerational recreation and aquatic center that voters approved in May. Meeting participants were shown sketches of possible floor plans and site plans for the center, and presented with ideas for the aquatic portion of the design. Lewisville held the second of three public meetings on the topic last Tuesday.
Craig Bouck, CEO of Barker Rinker Seacat, the architect firm hired to design the center, presented most of the program. Bouck walked through the project timeline and budget, as well as the list of features currently planned for the building. He also provided a recap of the firm’s efforts to get input from citizens.
Although the building itself is expected to cost about $29 million, with additional soft costs for site construction, design, engineering, contingency, art, furniture, fixtures, and equipment racking up an additional $9.1 million.
Bouck showed slides with rough site plans for Memorial Park and the new nature park proposed for the east side, across from the multigenerational center. But most of the presentation centered on the early ideas about the center’s amenities and floor plan, as well as desired features for the aquatic center.
Two major variations of a floor plan for the multigenerational center were presented. Option 1, Bouck likened to a tree trunk with branches that reach out. Under this option, he explained that the heart of the center’s activities would be in the center of the trunk.
Option 2, Bouck said was analogous to a gateway. The plan has two wings with public entries on each side oriented on the northeast and southwest. From the corner of Corporate Drive and Valley Parkway, one might be able to see through the center’s lobby and into the heart of the courtyard.
Both options carry the same types of spaces, with different floorplans. Both ideas are two story, and both have a fitness area and a walking track upstairs.
Both of the floorplans presented had the following features:
- Gymnasium with sunken-down floor and spectator seating area
- Exercise and activity rooms
- Natatorium (indoor pool)
- Locker rooms
- Admin area and central desk
- Children’s indoor play area
- Children watch area
- Senior lounge
- Separate senior entry
- General lounge
- 300–person multipurpose community room with room dividers.
Whichever floorplan is chosen, the specific rooms that end up in the final design may switch places. “We can mix and match like Mr. Potatohead,” said Bouck.
Option 2 was the layout that people seemed to like the most, according to Parks Director Bob Monaghan, who spoke to LTJ a week after the meeting. Monaghan said that a variant of Option 2 that put a gymnasium on the southwest side of the building and activity rooms on the western side was currently favored.
Another major portion of the meeting was spent presenting possible features of the aquatic center, and gathering written feedback from the participants. Doug Whiteaker, president of Water Technology, Inc., showed slides with photos of various other facilities and their features. He explained each type of feature, and who it might appeal to.
Participants then completed a survey where they could rank their top five preferred features for the natatorium, or indoor pool. Each feature listed cost ranges and expected revenue levels the feature was expected to bring in.
Among the features listed on the survey:
- Zero depth entry (like a beach)
- Interactive water sprays
- Water play structure
- Water slide
- Lazy river
- Activity area
- Crossing activity
- Underwater benches
- Iconic attractions
- Warm water lap lanes
- Competition lap lanes
- Springboard diving
- Diving tower
- Adult whirlpool
- Family whirlpool
- Wellness pool
- Splash pad
The current timeline shows the city about halfway through the design process, which should be complete in January. BRS and the city will conduct a non-public workshop on Nov. 8, and a third public meeting on Dec. 6.