Fort Worth has a plan to help you beat the heat – just not this summer.
The city plans to build five neighborhood aquatic centers over the next five to 10 years, at a cost of $4 million each.
“Fort Worth is behind the curve in providing these aquatic facilities” says Richard Zavala, Director of Fort Worth Parks & Community Services.
The first will be ready by summer of 2013, replacing the 86 year old swimming pool at Marine Park on the north side of Fort Worth.
Of all the city’s swimming pools, Marine Park is the only one open this summer.
“We have seven swimming pools in the city of Fort Worth and none are younger than 52 years old” says Zavala.
The “Enhanced Neighborhood Aquatic Center” will feature two slides, a zero entry beach, and an interactive play center – complete with water cannons and buckets.
“You want a destination where people are going to spend more time there” says Zavala.
“One of the biggest things we see is with the zero depth entry, it's like a beach, Zavala says, “little kids can stand out there with their mom or dad or grandpa or grandma and play in the water."
But the neighborhood aquatic centers will feature something for adults, too.
“Each of our facilities have included in the design a lap lane opportunity so, in the morning, you get seniors, you get adults, you get young people, that want to come out swim a few laps to stay healthy. That’s a good thing, too,” says Zavala.
The city already has the $4 million to build the Marine Park Aquatic Center, through a combination of local and federal dollars.
“Every individual one that we build will have pretty much the same elements," says Zavala. “You get some more efficiencies in your cost of design and construction."
Now the city has to find $16 million more to build the rest.
“One could expect that folks see a new swimming pool that will open in 2013 and that there will be a pretty heightened interest to see more of them built in the city” says Zavala.