Southeast Fort Worth residents will soon have a new place to splash.
The Fort Worth City Council approved a $2.3 million forgivable loan to YMCA to construct an aquatic facility in the Renaissance Square development.
The facility will be over 30,000 square feet and located on Mitchell Boulevard next to Mitchell Boulevard Elementary School, south of East Berry Street. Construction on the $12.1 million project is expected to begin in 2016. The facility is slated to open May 2017 and will be available to the public.
“It will have all the latest in bells and whistles when it comes to the health and wellness programs,” said Tony Shuman, president and CEO at YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth.
The main attraction of the facility will be a swimming pool that includes a water slide. Other amenities include a gym, indoor walking track and kitchen.
Along with the loan, the council also voted to financially support maintenance and operation of the facility once the facility opens. The city will provide an annual operating subsidy of $59,000 for 20 years, with a two percent increase each year. The subsidy would help pay for staff including lifeguards and instructors. Additionally, the city will provide $12,000 each year for 10 years to support maintenance of the facility.
The aquatic facility is part of the YMCA’s larger capital development plan, which includes several projects such as raising money to put lights on the ball fields at Altamesa Boulevard.
Shuman said the aquatic facility would be the “crown jewel” of the development plan.
When the YMCA presented its plan to the city in 2014, the YMCA’s plan fit in with the city’s Aquatics Master Plan, which was adopted in 2008 and updated in 2012. The Aquatics Master Plan stated that the city partner with an entity, such as a school district or non-profit organization, to develop aquatic centers around Fort Worth.
As part of the plan, the city opened two pools in 2013 — Marine Park Pool and a refurbished Forest Park Pool. The city also demolished five older pools that were unable to be repaired, according to Parks and Recreation Director Richard Zavala.
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