Plans to construct a new municipal swimming pool in Houston received a big boost with the award of a $250,000 grant.
The City of Houston finalized details last week to receive a federal Land, Water and Conservation Fund grant for the project. Voters also in April approved a one-cent sales tax with half the proceeds dedicated for parks and recreation. Collection of the tax began Oct. 1.
The swimming pool — built in 1970s — is located at West Side Park. Work was completed earlier this year on a nearby 20 x 30 splash pad with a variety of water features. It can accommodate 20-30 children at a time and feature fresh water in several features.
Elaine Campbell, who wrote the grant, along with former Parks and Recreation Director Kayla Gaston, said the city will have two years to use the proceeds of the grant for pool construction. Campbell was in Jefferson City last week to learn about administrating the grant. Under the terms of the award, the city will seek bids for engineering and construction for the pool. Three bids are required. Twenty-five applicants sought $3.3 million. Nineteen were funded under the National Park Service program.
The eight-lane pool would be built at the current location. The cost is estimated at about $1.2 million.
Among the features of the pool will be: zero entry kids area with animal spouts; reinstallation of the current water slide, rock climbing, a low-dive board, zipline, adjustable basketball goal and a swim lift that meets federal disability standards. No updates of the bath house are included in the pricing.