Community, aquatic center plans presented in Sunset Hills

Budgets exceed original expectations


Preliminary plans for new community and aquatic centers were presented to the Sunset Hills Board of Aldermen last week.

Architects favored building the new community center on the municipal campus at 3939 S. Lindbergh Blvd., near the intersection of Lindbergh and Eddie & Park Road, rather than a site near Truman Elementary School for aesthetic reasons, project manager Tom Anagnos of Hastings & Chivetta of St. Louis told aldermen.

The center’s newest design calls for a two-story, 23,065-square-foot facility with a 5,715-square-foot gymnasium and 4,095-square-foot fitness area and 2,771 square feet for multipurpose use.

“Your public spaces are located right off the main entrance,” Anagnos said of the community center. “When you come in, you’ll be overlooking the fitness space below. No one likes the old-style lead-in with the low ceiling. We try and keep it very light, very airy.

“So as you come in, if you were going to use it for meetings or whatever, you would have views of the activity spaces, the fitness spaces, the gymnasium, whatever.”

Anagnos estimated the community center would require five part-time employees to operate, two each for what he called “control” points near entrances and exits, and one attendant for the facility’s weight room and cardio-fitness area.

Preliminary plans show the aquatic center superimposed on the area where the existing municipal pool is at Watson Trail Park, 12512 West Watson Road, and a leisure pool constructed. As proposed, the leisure pool could include a lazy river and slides, among other features.

In addition, preliminary plans call for an eight-lane, 25-yard competition pool with diving to be built near the leisure pool.

While the majority of the funding is coming from Proposition P, the budgets of both projects are exceeding original expectations.

Prop P was approved by voters in April 2007 and contributed a half-cent increase in sales tax. Prop P, which has a 20-year life span, is expected to generate $13.8 million to improve parks and solve stormwater problems within the city.

To compound the problem, the city’s Public Works Department is in need of additional financial help for such stormwater priorities as culvert replacement under Rott Road, bridge repair at West Watson and Baalbek roads and stream-bank stabilization at eight locations identified by the Public Works Department.