SandVenture Aquatic Park in Shakopee is a single of the several neighborhood establishments that appears to be like fairly the identical nowadays as it did 50 decades in the past. The substantial chlorinated sand-bottom pond was created in Shakopee in 1969 and has since been a regional desired destination.
Aquatics Supervisor Katelyn Nadeau mentioned SandVenture was initial crafted as a safer different for swimming when the Minnesota River started out finding much more polluted. The pool seems to be and feels like a beach, but it’s chlorinated and lifeguarded with filtered water. The entire body of h2o on your own can hold up to 2,000 individuals and is 1.2 acres in size (even though with the potential of the adjacent making in intellect, SandVenture only lets 900 people at a time). That is massive more than enough to in shape six tennis courts.
But regardless of the encompassing farmland that’s because turned into housing developments and the unforeseen advancement of the city, SandVenture has, for the most element, stayed the identical, and which is in element because of its dimension. Rather of escalating to match the community, the group has developed to in good shape the pool, and now it is caught up.
The attraction is unique, because it is a chlorinated pond, and just one of only 14 in the point out. Those included with its maintenance say it is just one of the southwest metro’s most effective-kept secrets and techniques. Hidden behind a cluster of pine trees and tucked into Lions Park off Adams Avenue, Shakopee Mayor Bill Mars claimed he wished much more men and women knew about the 53-year-outdated neighborhood staple.
Now, right after decades of keeping the chlorinated sand-base pond and introducing smaller amenities this kind of as slides and a diving board, the town is diving further, aiming at strategies to improved maintain, renovate and increase its present footprint.
This thirty day period, the city is trying to find resident comments for concepts to turn the sand-base pond into an aquatic park that generates much more income and can appeal to far more people from throughout the local community and area.
The scheduling will come just after a sweeping parks and recreation master strategy finished in 2019, which outlines suggestions for SandVenture’s upcoming. Whilst Shakopee Senior Planner PeggySue Imihy reported the learn plan is a guiding document for the upcoming of Lions Park, the specifics of SandVenture improvements will be established by the public input gained.
“The organizing we’re executing is a direct result of using that program 1 move further more, and diving further into the local community,” Imihy explained.
In 2008 and 2009, SandVenture underwent a renovation in which a new slide and bath property have been additional. But other than pouring cash again into the facility for important repairs, no big features have been extra to SandVenture since then.
“Now we’re saying, what can we do to make the future 50 several years even larger? What do they want?”
Alternatives for advancement
Staff offered the council with two options to insert upgrades to the aquatic park to probably improve profits and lower SandVenture’s load on taxpayers around the very long-term at a conference past yr.
1 selection was to pursue the outline in the Parks and Recreation Master Program, which features incorporating a cafe, pool cabanas and a sand volleyball court.
The other possibility was to absolutely raze and reconstruct the aquatic park, adding drinking water slides and other points of interest, which would expense $11 million. Council anonymously dominated out that option. Kerski claimed the “payback on this is a quite extended time.”
The Parks and Recreation Grasp approach lays out suggestions for SandVenture’s long run enhancements, which include things like a new h2o slide, rentable cabanas and changing the “boathouse” into a comprehensive-company meals venue.
“Adults can enjoy a drink on the restaurant patio, love a leisurely sand volleyball game… or have a meal with their relatives although viewing Lions Park, offering a complete day knowledge for users,” the learn system states. “The cafe could function year spherical, servicing persons for the duration of hockey games, broomball game titles, disc golf tournaments, pickleball gatherings…”
In an interview with the Valley Information Feb. 2, Mars said he’d like to see long run SandVenture enhancements to include things like including facilities instead of shifting its footprint or character.
“I dwell about 3 blocks away from that park, and it does get utilized, but I just want more out of a pool,” Mars claimed. “There’s a lot of communities that have out of doors swimming pools that get much more use for the reason that of some of the attributes. I’m seeking ahead to seeing what the residents’ wishes are, and what the consultants come up with.”
Although the chlorinated sand-bottom pond has been a well-liked summer months desired destination for Shakopee people, Shakopee Parks and Recreation Director Jay Tobin explained last calendar year, it’s not a revenue-generator for the city. In the previous 10 decades, the city has paid out an normal of $227,000 annually in required expenses to hold SandVenture up and jogging — money that will come from the city’s functioning levy.
That is not an anomaly for city-owned aquatic parks. Most metropolis-owned out of doors swimming pools drop income every single calendar year, and the net value is picked up by functioning levies, Imihy said.
“Let’s be truthful, the Minnesota weather is not conducive to (out of doors) swimming pools,” Nadeau reported. “It’s an asset to our group and it’s beloved by our neighborhood, and we want to put this revenue into it to hold it around, make it brilliant and draw extra men and women to it.”
In 2019, it price tag $333,700 to hold the park up and running, and the city only brought in $183,600 from marketing memberships, lessons and concessions. That implies, on normal, every residence in Shakopee paid out about $7 in assets taxes to maintain the pool going that yr.
Mars stated a “reasonable” price tag for the improvements will be decided by the community’s tolerance.
“But maybe if we did it proper, a pair million bucks,” Mars reported. “Price has not really been talked about, but I think $7 or $8 million would be out of the dilemma for me.”
Mars reported some of the updates he’d like to see would be creating a 12 months-round use for the website, which could involve increasing the setting up so it is equipped to be rented out 12 months spherical, and adding enhancements that would draw additional persons in.
“We’re wanting for some thing that can enrich the pool, perhaps off to the aspect, or in conjunction with the pool, rather than a little something which is a total rebuild,” Mars said. “It’s even been brought up that we could deliver ice skating again to the pool. In the 60s, that was a detail.”
But there’s a difficulty: the pool is acquiring old, and ahead of far more money can be generated from it, much more revenue wants to be place in, metropolis employees claimed.
The Shakopee City Council gave consensus to update fixtures at the 50-12 months-previous SandVenture Aquatic Park at a enterprise conference in July 2020, which include the $40,000 set up of a safer chlorine system and $740,000 value of infrastructure updates.
The funding for the maintenance repairs will appear from “rent” paid on the facility for the uses of deferred upkeep — in other phrases, there are money that have been established aside each calendar year for the deferred servicing of that web site. There is about $1.4 million that has accrued in “rents” because 2008 that will be offered to set back into SandVenture, according to Imihy.
“So along with some critical maintenance products, we imagined this was a superior time to gauge the community curiosity,” Imihy reported in an interview Feb. 2.
So considerably, residents have requested facilities ranging from far more umbrellas to a lazy river to extended park several hours. Anyone can enter in their thoughts, suggestions or suggestions for the foreseeable future of SandVenture at shakopee.mysocialpinpoint.com/lions-park through the stop of February.