Shawnee Co. Parks and Rec. plan to add Aquatic Center to Oakland Area

Live at Five
Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 2:13 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Shawnee County Parks and Recreation are looking to replace the pool with an aquatic facility.

Parks and Rec. officials say they are not sure what the facility will include just yet. The department is in the process of organizing multiple ways to gain community outreach, including surveys.

At the county commission on Thursday, June 8, the board approved entering contract negotiations that do not exceed $4,000,000.

Final approval will be given on the project after community engagement is completed.

Tim Laurent with Parks and Rec says improvements are needed considering the pool’s current state.

“Pool’s been around a long time,” said Laurent. “It’s really, it’s really lived, its useful life. So, being in [an] aluminum basin, it, it’s a unique situation. I know I’ve, I’ve only been here now about four years. We’ve had to go in and weld sections of it, two of those four years. So, it’s just time for something, a little better. A little nicer.”

If the new facility is approved, the current Oakland pool will be removed and the aquatic center will be in the same park closer to Sardou Avenue. The goal is to have it in place by next summer.

Another action at the county commission to note is the approval of combining the election office and the Shawnee county commission districts. This will move precincts with little or no voters, into a more populated district.

Andrew Powell, with the Shawnee Co. Election Office, says this step will help make election night a much smoother process. However, Powell did explain to 13 NEWS that this action will not change commission district boundaries.