City gets update on possible new aquatics facility
By Kyle Mooty
A special meeting of the Lockhart City Council last week focused on a new aquatic facility since the half-a-century-old pool at Lockhart City Park is nearing the end of its existence.
Parks and Recreation Director Travis Hughes, Caldwell County Commissioner BJ Westmoreland, Lockhart ISD Athletic Director Todd Moebes, LISD Deputy Superintendent Dr. Stephanie Camarillo, and members of the Parks Board of Directors were among those in attendance.
Water Technology Inc. (WTI) Project Director Robbie Hazelbaker spoke of the possibilities from which the city could choose. WTI, headquartered in Wisconsin but with an office in Austin, is the largest aquatic design firm in North America.
Hazelbaker spoke of the Aquatic Committee’s input, trends for pools, current pool conditions, as well as current projects in Round Rock, San Antonio and Pflugervile
Lockhart ISD was represented because there is hope that the high school will eventually field a competitive swim team.
Hazelbaker said the current pool is no longer level and likely has than a year of life remaining.
“It continues to lose water, and the decks are in poor condition,” Hazelbaker said. There is also a lack of shade and amenities.”
In 2022, there were an average of 855 swimmers per week with 46 total private rentals, but this year there have only been 15 private rentals at the City Park pool.
A natatorium would be preferred, but Hazelbaker noted the expense involved would likely make an outdoor pool, a multi-purpose aquatics facility, more viable.
“Second graders and third graders would benefit greatly from a learn to swim program,” Hazelbaker said. “It would also provide great exercise for the senior population. Another push is to develop a swim team.”
Hazelbaker said the nearest outdoor heated pools were at Boerne and Davenport High in Comal County. Davenport’s is owned by its school district.
“You don’t really have a 3- to 5-acre site to host a new pool right now and that’s about what it would take,” Hazelbaker said. “For a rec center with a pool, it would take 7 to 10 acres with parking, etc.”
Several examples of pools were shown to the council.
“I see many school districts teaching swimming as a P.E. class, and a pool certainly makes a difference in quality of life and attracting people who live and work and play here,” Hazelbaker said. “Right now, I think I’m hearing the consensus is to offer competition lanes in an outdoor pool with leisure amenities.”
Hazelbaker said he would get prices for both a 6-lane and 8-lane pool.