Cape looks at replacing 'the bubble' with indoor aquatic center

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - The Cape Splash water park brings thousands of people to town each summer, and now city leaders have plans to replace the city's aging competition pool with a new, indoor facility.

The recreation division manager in Cape Girardeau, Penny Williams, believes it's time to find a replacement for the Central Municipal Pool which uses an air-inflated structure during the winter months.

"The facility is 40 years old and it's time," Williams said. "Swimming in this community continues to grow. The demand was such that we needed a year-round facility, so we got the bubble and now it's not serving us as well as what we had hoped."

Williams said the current city pool is landlocked with no ability to expand, has limited room for events, and has to be closed twice a year to install and take down the bubble roof.

"Those are critical times for those teams that want to be practicing and want to be in there," Williams said. "If we had a permanent structure on it there wouldn't be that delay people could continue swimming."

Instead of investing in the old pool, the city is looking to build an indoor aquatic center at a new location.

"We've had several meetings already with several members of the swimming community," Williams said. "They're very excited. They know more than anybody the need for this facility. We have the potential to host state meets, the recreational opportunities are unlimited, and there is so much potential here."

Part of the funding for the new swimming facility will come from the Parks, Recreation and Stormwater tax.

City manager Scott Meyer said the tax was created ten years ago and that it created Cape Splash, update other parks facilities, and also improved watersheds around town.

"We have a lot of outside visitors that come to town and so you need to keep our facilities fresh and up to date in order to continue to attract them," Meyer said. "Also there is more competition. Some cities have added a few things."

Meyer added that there will be open to the public meeting about the construction of the new aquatic center. He said they have two major goals.

"One of them is to build the best facility that we possibly can with the funds that could be made available this initiative as well as the partnerships," Meyer said. "The second is to do it in a way that is fiscally sustainable because it's not just building a facility. You also have to maintain it and to operate it."

Voters will have a say in renewing the existing sales tax during the County election on April 3. More information about the 23 areas that the PRS2 tax will help fund can be found at this website.

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