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Aquatics Feasibility Plan

Aquatics Feasibility Plan

In response to community feedback, and in alignment with the 2014 Boulder Parks and Recreation Master Plan, in 2015 the City of Boulder Parks and Recreation Department completed an Aquatics Feasibility Plan (AFP). The final AFP will assist us in contributing to the community’s health and wellness, taking care of the assets in our care, and ensuring the financial sustainability of our services and programs. Specifically, the plan provides:

  • An assessment of current aquatics facilities and infrastructure.
  • An analysis of both current and future supply and demand for aquatic facilities in Boulder.
  • A review of case studies and industry best practices for aquatic facility development and management.
  • Scenarios and recommendations for Boulder to ensure vibrant and innovative aquatic facilities and management strategies.
  • Conceptual cost estimating for capital and operations associated with recommended scenarios.


In order to inform BPR operations and capital investment related to aquatics, the consulting team developed a needs assessment based on a synthesis of industry best practices, previous survey results, comprehensive facility, program and operational assessments, extensive public input, focus groups with staff, stakeholders and leadership and a thorough market analysis.

Community Engagement

The community engagement for this planning process included:

  • An online survey (964 respondents) (Nov-Dec 2014)
  • A series of workshops and public open houses (100+ attendees) to gather input from key stakeholders and the community regarding aquatics programming and facilities (Dec. 2014)
  • Community Open House and stakeholder meetings where staff shared findings of the needs assessment and gathered community feedback on the capital investment scenarios (January 2015)
  •  Q&A session with over 40 participants and users of the East Boulder Community Center leisure pool to clarify AFP findings and recommendations (April 205)
  • Staff listened to community feedback shared via email, telephone and in-person meetings. Aside from community members, stakeholder groups and current users, these community engagements have included industry experts, representatives from BVSD, for-profit and nonprofit entities currently serving (or planning to serve) varied aquatics needs in the community. 
  • The PRAB’s involvement included:
    • Discussion around desired outcomes and needs for aquatics at the November 2014 business meeting
    • PRAB liaison, board member Mike Guzek, was been included in the key stakeholder meetings and public outreach throughout the process
    • Discussion related to the findings of the Needs Assessment at the January 2015 regular meeting.
    • At the February 2015 business meeting, the PRAB shared feedback on the department’s role related to aquatics and the capital investment scenarios of the AFP.
    • Finally, at the April 2015 business meeting, the PRAB shared feedback on the final draft AFP and capital investment scenarios.

A more thorough description of the planning process, engagement efforts, findings and recommendations can be found in the FINAL Aquatics Feasibility Plan pdf.

Next Steps

Operational recommendations will be evaluated and then implemented over time as appropriate and in alignment with the department’s annual strategic plan. Capital maintenance at the indoor aquatics facilities and Spruce Pool will be addressed through the department’s annual Capital Improvement Program (CIP) starting in 2016. Capital enhancement opportunities will be evaluated as funding is identified. To address unmet community needs related to aquatics facilities and/or replacement of Scott Carpenter Pool, the department will further explore the vision scenarios provided by the Aquatics Feasibility Plan.