Gilbert leaders opted Monday to build the town’s next public pool at a high school tentatively planned near Val Vista Drive and Germann Road.
“We have a consensus that the pool ought to go here,” Mayor Steve Berman said. “What’s still up in the air, the jump ball is what kind of pool we’re going to build there.”
The Gilbert Town Council voted 6-1 to switch plans for a pool facility at South Valley Junior High School, near Lindsay and Ray roads, to the site planned for Gilbert’s fifth high school. Construction on that school is expected to start in November if voters in the school district approve an $82 million bond package Nov. 6.
Monday’s vote essentially clears the way for town staff to work out details with the Gilbert Unified School District. Many of those details will depend on exactly how much land the school district can give the town for the project.
School district officials needed some commitment from the town by the Nov. 6 election, said Keith Vaughan, director of community development for the district.
“I’m thinking more in the two-and-a-quarter (acres), maybe up to two-and-a-half acres,” Vaughan said. “I doubt we could go much higher than that.”
But Monday’s vote only decided where a new pool will go, not what type of pool will be built.
Members of the town’s Parks Advisory Board told the council they will push for a “recreation-style” pool with amenities similar to those at Hamilton Aquatic Center in Chandler. That facility includes water slides, a zero-depth play pool and a lazy river.
“My 7-year-old is not going to come with me to a pool to sit in the zero-depth section,” said Melanie Dykstra, a town resident and Parks Advisory Board member. “He’s not interested. He’s already done with that.”
At the very least, some said, the advisory board will push for a facility similar to Gilbert’s Mesquite Aquatic Center that includes water-toy features, a slide and a zero-depth pool.
“At a minimum, we would want something similar to Mesquite,” said resident and advisory board member Bobbi Smith.
The Parks Advisory Board will meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in Conference Room 300 of Gilbert Municipal Center, 50 E. Civic Center Drive, to discuss what amenities should be included in future town pools.