Now that a site has been selected, it’s back to the drawing board.
The city’s proposed aquatics center is one step closer to becoming a reality now that councilors approved a location within Stephenville City Park Tuesday night, allowing engineers to move forward with the conceptual design development layouts.
After two years of discussion, progress is being made and a consensus reached, despite several members of the council questioning the proposed location.
Acting on a recommendation from the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board, the council unanimously OK’d a site located in the southeast corner of the city park.
The decision was in line with that of the C.T. Brannon Corporation, the engineering firm hired by the city to design the aquatics center, and the advisory board.
In their initial report, engineers compared two locations, including an area adjacent to the existing swimming pool and recreation hall, and an area near the intersection of Graham Street and South Loop.
Prior to taking action, several members of the council said the southeastern site within the park was better suited, citing the location provided more visibility for the aquatics center.
With a general location decided, the council also gave approval for city staff to work with Brannon Corp. to begin developing a site-specific plan, and a conceptual layout of the facility.
“Our first course of action will be to discuss with Brannon the process and timelines of what should be happening and when,” said Director of Community Services Drew Wells. “We’ll take their recommendation with how to proceed with an orderly process that can get us to a preliminary design to present to council.”
Wells said the Parks & Rec Advisory Board will schedule a meeting soon to discuss with Brannon representatives the project schedule and also set dates for public forums to collect citizen input.
“We want to give ample opportunity for the public to provide input in this process. However, we want to structure it in a productive manner,” Wells said.
With the council giving their OK on a site, Wells is glad to see the project continue to move forward.
“That’s the first step. I’m pleased about that. Now we can really start to work towards our goal and meet with the public to discuss some features that could be included in the design. We still have a lot of work ahead of us,” he said.