Voters approved two measures last year to update the existing parks and build the new one. A five-year sales-tax increase will generate $8 million for the existing 11 parks, and for construction of two new parks. The larger one, informally dubbed Central Park, will cost about $25 million and be paid for through a voter-approved bond issue.
Todd Jenson, director of Parks and Recreation in Moore, has been on the job since July 2010. Looking at the existing community pool, he began talks with city leaders to evaluate what could be done to improve it.
“I noticed the condition of the pool was a little sketchy and it seemed outdated,” he says.
The pool, and the city’s community center both were built in the early 1980s. Since then, he says each has had only minimal upgrades. And the pool was not keeping itself afloat financially.
“We’re not in it to make money,” he says. “But we’d at least like for it to pay the operational costs.”
The city studied it to find out just how much money the pool was losing and what needed repairs and upgrades. When their findings showed it would require $400,000 just to make it safe, a decision had to be made.
“We decided to close the pool and determine what we wanted to do longterm,” Jenson says.
The city studied its 11 parks from May 2011 through February 2012 and began shaping a plan for moving forward. Eyeing 50 undeveloped acres bordered by Broadway, the railroad tracks, and Fourth and 19th streets, the city decided to build a park with amenities for the community, and to attract visitors.
“As far as we know, nothing has been built on that land,” Jenson says.
In April, the city hired TAP Architecture to create the new look for the park. Anthony McDermid, principal at TAP, says the city knows what amenities it wants, but drawings have not yet been created. He says he is working to find the best placement and use of the area.
In the first phase, the community center will be built to replace the old one.
“It’s outdated, as well, and functionally obsolete,” McDermid says.
The aquatic center also will be constructed in the first phase. Jenson says it will include such amenities as waterslides, diving boards and a lazy river.
“It’s not just a pool,” he says. Work is set to begin in mid-2014, with ongoing projects over the next five years. Jenson says the aquatic center and community center are set to open in 2015.
“These will be facilities the community can be proud of,” he says.