The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Public input for City Park Pool to take place soon

After approval to replace City Park Pool, the city expects to gather the public’s opinions on what they would like to see from a new pool.
Matt Sindt
The City Park Pool is seen in Iowa City on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022.

Iowa City Park Pool’s reconstruction is underway as City of Iowa City officials look to gather feedback from residents on what the new pool should look like.

After unanimous approval to replace City Park Pool during the Iowa City City Council’s meeting on Sept. 5, the city’s next step is gathering public input for the upcoming project.

RELATED: IC’s City Park Pool to be replaced rather than repaired

The pool’s reconstruction will cost an estimated $10.5 million, according to Iowa City Parks and Recreation Director Juli Seydell Johnson. The original pool opened on June 11, 1949, making it 74 years old.

City officials expect the pool to be closed for the entire summer of 2025 when reconstruction takes place.

Learn more here:

The Daily Iowan spoke with community members at City Park who all were pleased with the idea of replacing the pool. However, opinions differed on what they would want to see from the remodeled pool.

University of Iowa alum and Iowa City resident Sue Mullins said the pool was a popular hangout spot for students when she attended the UI in the 1970s.

Mullins said her whole family uses the pool to this day and she enjoys taking her granddaughter there regularly.

“I’d love the pool to be upgraded because I think it’s due, and for it to have different portions for different ages of kids like a splash area. All that would be awesome,” Mullins said.

Iowa City resident Nate Cook, who lives near City Park, said he wants to see the pool in working order. However, he said it mattered little to him whether the city added in slides or other such amenities.

“I’d like to see the pool functioning and so where it’s not leaking so much water. I don’t really care if it has all the slides and bells and whistles,” Cook said. “I do like the high dive, but other than that I don’t care if it’s an old-school pool the way it is.”

Seydell Johnson said the pool was losing 55,000 gallons of water per day last summer, which is the most it has ever lost.

When asked whether the leaking has caused any environmental issues in the area, Seydell Johnson said the consultants “did not find anything to that effect.”

Williams Architects provided an evaluation of the pool to the city council and determined that repairs would be equal to or even more costly than a full replacement to fix the leaking issues/

City Park Pool focus groups

Seydell Johnson said the first public input session will take place at the end of October or early November in an open house meeting. The meeting is intended for anyone to come and speak with the consultant team to learn about the project and voice their interests in what they’d like to see in the pool’s remodel.

In 2022, over 800 people signed a petition against the new city park pool because a preliminary design of the pool would have reduced the pool’s nine 50-meter lap lanes to three lanes.

The open house will be followed by 14 smaller focus groups each with their own category of people to address the varying comments from the community. The focus groups will pertain to certain areas of the community such as people who have disabilities, child care providers, and general pool users.

“Each focus group will have its own group of people, but those will be a great way for people to give input into the process,” Seydell Johnson said.

Information gathered from the open house and focus groups will be provided to consultants who will create three schematic designs for the new pool. These designs will be available for community members to vote on through a public survey.

Information from the surveys will go to the Parks Commission and then the Iowa City City Council for a vote on which design to move forward with.

“I think it’s important to get the word out that if you have opinions and have something you’d really like to see at city park pool, pay attention as we announce when the public input will happen,” Seydell Johnson said. “The more voices we can hear the better.”

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Jack Moore, News Reporter
Jack Moore is a second-year student at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism and Mass Communication. Jack is from Cedar Rapids Iowa, and he reports on crime and courts for the news section and creates media content for the digital section at the The Daily Iowan. Along with working at The Daily Iowan, Jack works for the University of Iowa's UI-REACH program as a Resident Assistant. UI-REACH is a program for students with learning, cognitive, and behavioral disabilities intended to provide support to these students throughout their college experience. Additionally, Jack is involved in Iowa City's live music scene as he plays bass for local Iowa City band "Two Canes".