Plans for aquatic center change

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WOODLAND PARK, Colo. — The proposed $10.1 million aquatic center in Woodland Park has hit some trouble.

The initial plans placing the center in downtown would cost the city several million dollars over budget.

The new center will have an indoor lap pool, leisure pool, spa, and slide.

It’ll play host to the Woodland Park swim team that has to travel to Manitou Springs just to swim, but with the original plans going over budget, the city adjusted.

The aquatic center is still almost two years from being done.

To fix the budget issues, they have to tackle it in a completely different way.

The original downtown location called for expensive infrastructure work.

“To relocate Fountain Creek would be about $1.4 million and then the other component of this is the infrastructure associated with extending Saddle Club Drive from Center to West Street and that was going to be about $2.6 million, $2.9 million,” said Woodland Park City Manager David Buttery.

They would also need $500,000 in dirt to help level the site.

The solution to those money problems was moving the center to across from the high school.

“Pursuing building at this location we know that we won’t have to bring in that much fill material and this site will just be significantly easier to develop,” said Buttery.

That’s not to mention saving millions on the infrastructure projects.

“The majority of the money that will be saved are infrastructure dollars that can’t be used for the facility itself. They can absolutely be used for the infrastructure here and to use in other places around the community,” said Buttery.

That means money left over goes to roads and other infrastructure fixes.

Some already thought of how the new center will be shared.

“We’ll schedule that. We won’t consume all of the lanes with the high school swim team and it certainly won’t be an all-day affair for them to be swimming,” said Buttery.

“I think that would be perfect, especially with everything going on with the kids these days, just keep them off the streets as much as you can. We need more activities for children to do around here and I think that’d be perfect, especially with the location. It’s closer for everybody to go to,” said Steven Jones and Jennifer Flores.

They want to break ground on the center sometime in May, with it being completed around a year later.

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