Republic Aquatic Center upgrade making headway

Ethan Gray

An artist's rendering shows the final product of the tax-payer funded build. (Photo submitted)

An aerial photo recently taken of the Republic Aquatic Center, which has been the recipient of sustantial excavation, the early stages of a major renovation. (Photo submitted)

New addition will more than double the area of the pool, should open in May 2024
Work on the Republic Aquatic Center is well underway with major dirt work already achieved on the extreme expansion.
Crews will be adding on to the already large Republic Aquatic Center, with a multitude of improvements that citizens have been looking forward to for some time. Much of the excavation is already complete but most of the work is still yet to be done with the work having already begun in May of this year.  

According to Parks and Recreation Director Jared Keeling, the improvements cover a wide swathe but the main addition to the pool will be a lazy river that spans over 575 feet long. The lazy river will wrap around the entire new addition with an island in the middle in which guests will be able to lounge, accessible via bridge. On the island there will be cabanas for pool-goers to rent out. Also coming is two new slides, one of which is a tube slide where guests will be able to ride their inner tube down and stay in it to float down the river. The other slide is a speed slide which will be much faster than the former. Also in the new addition will be an area for food truck parking, giving citizens access to more dining options during their visit.

This new edition will more than double square footage of the previous pool area and will house other features aside from the lazy river. The addition that was most requested by the citizens of Republic was another zero depth entry area which adds safety by allowing kids to play with less risk of drowning in deeper water. Keeling said that this feature was the most popular on the list of improvements, with many in the city being surveyed for their opinions over the last couple of years. In an interview, Keeling expressed his excitement for the community to have access to these new pool features.

"We are very happy to to bring this about for the people in our community," Keeling said.

The new addition is made possible thanks to a sales tax that was passed by voters in the summer of 2022 that provided the necessary funds for the project. In total, the improvements will amount to over $7.3 million. The construction is being handled by Branco with much of the design being shouldered by Springfield and Kansas City based Architecture firm Sapp and their associate Aquatic Design. Keeling said the the goal is for construction to be completed before opening day in 2024, more specifically May 12.



Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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