Last week, the Cape Girardeau city council made strides toward the planning process of a new indoor aquatic center that would replace the Central Municipal Pool “Bubble” facility. They named a 6-person joint committee made up of city officials and representatives from the cape public school district who will soon begin studying different possibilities in terms of attractions, and discussing revenue to be generated by the facility to help pay for operating costs.
City manager Scott Meyer says an 81% voter approval of the Parks and Stormwater Tax 2 in April committed $6 million in “seed” money for the project, but that amount may not be enough to pay for what the city has in mind.
“We are hoping to have partnerships and attract additional monies to build an aquatic center that would address the needs currently being handled by the central bubble which is at the end of its life,” says Meyer.
Meyer says a previous agreement with the school district required the city to create a joint committee in the event the city decided to invest more money into the project.
The city hopes to include some recreational components in the center, in addition to a competitive swimming pool: a feature Meyer says will bring events into the city.
“We want to put together the best aquatic center that we can have in our city, given the amount of money that can be raised and money to also support it on regular ongoing basis,” says Meyer. “Because that’s a component as well.”
The process will be open to the public through city council meetings, and is expected to start in 2019. The city also plans on sending out requests for proposals to those with ideas on possible partnerships and locations.