As Elk Grove Treads Water, Southgate Recreation District Break's Ground on Aquatics Center

November 16, 2015 |

As the City of Elk Grove deals with lawsuits, design challenges and rapidly inflating budgets on its proposed Civic Center Aquatics Center, the nearby Southgate Recreation and Parks District has started construction on its aquatics facility.

The District recently broke ground on its facility that is located just one mile outside of Elk Grove city limits near Waterman Road and Vintage Park Drive. The $14.7 million facility, which will be known as the Vineyard Community Center, Aquatic Center, and District Support Facility, is expected to open in 2017.

The facility will feature a 4,400 sq. ft. activity and a 10-lane 6,500 sq. ft. competition pools. There are no plans for a competitive diving platform and pool.

In addition to the pools, the 10-acre facility will include the following:
  • Community Center - 12,900 sq. ft. 
  • Aquatic Offices and Locker Rooms - 2,700 sq. ft. 
  • Aquatic Equipment Building - 1,600 sq. ft. 
  • District Support Center - 7,800 sq. ft. 
  • Open space - 3 acres  
Other amenities of the facility include locker rooms, a snack bar, playground, picnic areas, gymnasium and meeting rooms.  

Elk Grove's project, which has been in the works for three years, has been plagued be a series of setbacks including redesigns, lawsuits and budgetary issues.

The Elk Grove facility that is proposed for the city's civic center area originally included a water amusement park. After the city was unable to identify a private sector vendor that would fund and operate it, that component was dropped.

The city is also suing its former consultant, P3 International, alleging breach of contract after they failed to deliver a financing plan. P3 has subsequently filed a counter suit against the city.

Further complicating matters, Elk Grove has collected $14 million in Mello-Roos fees for the project, but costs estimates have run $10 million over budget. In its current incarnation, the Elk Grove facility includes an Olympic-sized competition pool and a 10-meter diving platform and diving pool. The Cosumnes Community Services District, which operates parks and recreational and aquatics facilities in the city, has declined overtures from the city to team-up on the project.

Southgate, which operates in a large portion of the Elk Grove Unified School District, said it expects that the schools and swim clubs will be interested in using the facilities. Elk Grove has justified its foray into aquatics facilities to meet the demands of Elk Grove high schools and the Elk Grove Piranhas Swim Club, and as part of its plan to transform the city into a tourist destination. 

Funding for the Vineyard Aquatic Facility came from multiple sources including development impact fees, debt proceeds, landscaping and lighting assessment district proceeds, parkland dedication fees and the General Fund. 

“We are excited and look forward to adding more recreation and program opportunities to our communities with the establishment of this new community center and aquatic center," Southgate Director Rolfe Appel said. "These new facilities will serve the needs of our growing population in the central and eastern portion of our Park District.”


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Laguna Pete said...

As usual, EG is a day late and a dollar short in it's thinking, planning and action. Everywhere around us our plans are swallowed up and other communities act where we just dream. - I guess we can put that aquatics $14 million towards one of our remaining projects.

Proud to be led said...

This is all the school district's fault for not building pools and I vote for a sales tax increase.

Capt. Benjamin L. Willard said...

Hats off to the Southgate District. They have quietly and efficiently planned and followed through on a their project.

It is interesting that their budget is identical to Elk Grove's. The Elk Grove city staff and residents can use this a guidepost as the aquatics center proceeds. Heaven knows they need the help!

Anonymous said...

First off its a waste of MONEY. Second, its located in the wrong side of town. Big middle finger to those who voted for this garbage project.

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