It was recently reported that a Round Rock natatorium, or indoor swim complex, is under consideration. Round Rock City Council held a special meeting to discuss a feasibility study, which was conducted by Counsilman-Hunsaker, for a natatorium.
The firm presented two options for the city. The first option would cost about $31 million and would include a 50-meter pool and a dive pool. The second option would cost between $24 to $25 million and would include a 50-meter pool and another lap pool.
Round Rock Natatorium
“Getting to swim, it’s really rewarding when you do well and there are tough times,” says Cassie Phillips, who spends much of her time swimming for the AquaTex Swim Team in Round Rock. But Phillips says finding enough space to practice can be difficult. She trains at the Micki Krebsbach Swimming Pool, which is 25 yards long. A new complex could include a pool that would be more than double that length.
The Round Rock Independent School District does not have its own pools, they rent from the city. Phillips says some swimmers didn’t make the Round Rock High School team because there is not enough space.
“We don’t have enough room to have 80 swimmers and 80 people tried out, so if we had a bigger facility we’d be able to have more on the team,” explains Phillips.
The city could possibly partner with the Round Rock ISD and the Chasco Family YMCA to offset the cost. Round Rock ISD says they will form a citizens bond committee in October or November to study the swim complex and the possibility of putting it on a bond election in May 2017. The decision to put the item on the ballot has to be made by mid-Feburary.
AquaTex head coach Mark Parshall realizes the cost might keep this project from becoming a reality.
“But if you look at the big picture of everything, the income derived by being able to hold larger [swim] meets, I’m sure would easily pay for itself,” says Parshall.
The swim complex could also include an exercise area, space for medical rehabilitation and swim education for younger kids.
The initial discussion of building a natatorium in Round Rock came up in spring 2015. The feasibility study was split four ways, with the Avery Family, who is looking to donate land for the swim complex, also contributing. Each party paid 25 percent of the $96,250 total for the study. If the facility were to be built, the Avery Family would donate approximately 10 acres of land off A.W. Grimes Boulevard across from the Texas A&M Health Science Center for the project.
At San Antonio’s Northside Independent School District, a natatorium was built with $12 million worth of bond money and opened to the public in 2006. Before the Olympics in Rio, the USA Olympic Swim Team held their training camp at NISD’s natatorium.