Southgate Rec District Building Aquatics Center Near Elk Grove

February 10, 2014 | If all goes according to plan, the Southgate Recreation and Park District (SRPD) will be opening their new aqua...

February 10, 2014 |

If all goes according to plan, the Southgate Recreation and Park District (SRPD) will be opening their new aquatics and community center just in time for the Summer heat of 2015.

The Southgate district, which encompasses a large swath of unincorporated Sacramento County just north of Elk Grove, is set to break ground on a $14 million facility on Waterman Road and Vintage Park Drive, just north of the Elk Grove-Sacramento County border.

According to Richard Lincoln, Recreation Director with SRPD, the project consists of an aquatics and community facility components.

The community facility includes two structures that combined will be about 11,000 sq. ft. Included in the facilities will be a full-sized basketball court, locker rooms, kitchen facilities, offices, community rooms available for rental and approximately 350 parking space.  

The aquatics component will include an outdoor 25 meter by 25 meter competitive pool with one and three meter diving platforms and covered viewing bleachers. That size is considered a half-Olympic sized pool and is standard for most competitive needs.

Lincoln said the district decided not to include a 10-meter diving platform for a variety of reasons including the fact the competition pool would need to be dug substantially deeper than the 14 to 16-feet slated for their pool which would greatly increase construction and on-going operating costs. Lincoln also noted that there is limited need in the region for a 10-meter diving platform.

In addition to the competition pool, the aquatics complex will include a 5,300 sq. ft. wading and activity pool suitable for families and small children. According to Lincoln, one possibility the district is exploring is to have a family day pass for the activity pool as a means of providing an economical outing for families.

Lincoln said the district anticipates the competition pool will be very popular with various high school and private swim teams and both components will be a big draw for out-of-district users. The project, which is in the final stages of construction plan review with Sacramento County, was largely financed by developer fees collected by the district. Ongoing operations and maintenance costs will be covered by annual tax revenues and no additional debt financing will be required.

In designing and constructing the 12-acre site, the district issued a request-for-proposal that drew 13 pre-qualified respondents. Of those, six placed bids on the project. The winning bidder was Monighan Design of Sacramento, with Specialized Aquatic Design provided by Aquatics Design Group of San Diego. 

Lincoln said the district hopes to start construction in the next few weeks and plans to open by June, 2015.

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Anonymous said...

What! Sac County got six bidders on their aquatics center and the city of Elk Grove could barely get one! Didn't our city leaders know this project was in the works when they passed on the soccer fields for our own aquatics center?

And it appears that Sac County knows what is too expensive to built, and then maintain, and so they passed certain designs. Unlike our Elk Grove City Council; they are living too large at the taxpayers’ expense.

Time to pull the plug on the Elk Grove Aquatic Center before the taxpayers drown in debt! These two projects are just too close to one another.

Anonymous said...

I had heard about this a few months ago and wondered how two Aquatics Centers could survive so close together.

If I remember correctly the one bidder EG got had never build or operated an Aquatics Center before...experience was with the fun water parks or whatever they're called. How in the heck do we just get 1 bid....someone needs to answer a few questions... like maybe Ms. Gill.

Time to bite the bullet and write the $700,000 off as expense for electeds living in a bubble...not knowing what goes on just outside their front door. This is some crazy s--- and someones feet needs to held to the fire.

Coffee Bean said...

We just spent $700,000 for someone to tell us it won't fly without a subsidy!

Pillow Talk said...

Why didn’t the Elk Grove City Council tell us about this other aquatics center? Rumor has it that a few of them didn't know. Well, SRPD is under the county of Sacramento’s umbrella and Elk Grove City Manager Laura Gill’s husband is the County’s Assistant County Executive.

You can’t tell me Nav Gill didn't know and didn't happen to mention it to his wife! Come on now, aquatics centers are big budget ticket items and at least ours has been in the news.

If Laura Gill know and didn't tell her bosses and we wasted $7000,00 so far on an aquatics center, she would be fired!

Anonymous said...

Well, this is a surprising turn of events, huh? The council spent 700,000 for a "feasibility study". How about this for a study....three aquatic parks within four miles of each other is a disastrous business plan. I continue to believe our council just loves to spend other people’s money for ANYTHING. They are reckless in this regard. And I am finding it UNBELIEVEABLE that no one our city staff knew of this Southgate project. NO ONE? DON’T BUY IT FOR A SECOND!!! I tend to agree that Mr. Gill (the county's top executive, who is married to our esteemed city manager, Laura Gill) didn't know the County of Sacramento was going to the home of the region's next regional water park/ facility??? THIS SMELLS BAD FROM ALL FOUR CORNERS. Someone needs to justify our lost 700,000 tax payer’s dollars.

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to this new facility. The Wackford used to be a nice place, but I no longer go there because of all the police helicopters; and gang members who hang out at the adjoining park; and because the place is run down. Maintenance is not that good there. And Wackford just recently raised prices for their swim pass and changed the registration process. These new prices and processes make it inconvenient to participate in as many activities. Looking forward to a nice, clean, well run swim center where regular swimmers aren't frowned upon. And those darn swim teams aren't omni-present. Thanks Southgate!!

Anonymous said...

Southgate is getting an aquatic center.

Elk Grove is getting an amusement park.

Billy Bats said...

Just what are taxpayers getting for the $700,000 consulting fee? I might suggest the city get on the phone, call Southgate and save some money. Did we just get taken for a ride?

Burt Lancaster, The Swimmer said...

We need as many aquatic centers as possible!

Anonymous said...

How can a feasibility study cost $700,000?

A study and preliminary plans should cost much less during a recession.

Did the City blow a huge wad on this one?

Turning a podunk valley town into a "destination city" is like spitting into the wind.

Lynn said...

hm.....the council has had a deaf ear to the residents who speak up at council meetings in opposition to some plans. Maybe they ought to begin listening to the people they really are suppose to represent. The swim teams didn't want an amusement park. This could of saved a whole lot of our tax dollars! Oh is not their personal monies they are spending on wild ideas......the mall; residents years ago said not a good idea.....

Anonymous said...

WOW, 700,000 for a study to tell us the county is several years ahead in the planning process for an aquatic's park?
Time to get back to reality. How about those 8-10 soccer fields for our kids that can double as lacrosse, football, field hockey or rugby fields. Bring in those weekend tournaments that we drive all over hell to go to for our kids. Nice complex with meeting rooms, snack shop, dressing rooms. How about adding lights to two of the 8 fields and making two fields astro turf (or whatever it's called).
Elk Grove will never get an MLS team or a Sun Splash-type park. We just don't have the population or demography to support it. How about getting back to providing amenities WE as families can use...sports fields!

Alex Plummer said...


I used to think these naysayers were just disgruntled citizens with nothing more in their lives to do except ridicule others.

I must say that these naysayers have really opened my eyes to the waste and poor judgement recently shown by our city leaders, especially most recently with this project. What a waste of taxpayer monies. No one did their due diligence here. This project had to be in the works for years to be at the stage of now breaking ground.

As said above, Ms. Gill had to know about this if she married to the county executive in charge of finance. The county is largely involved with funding this Southgate project if this article is correct. To assume this NEVER came up over dinner is simply not believable. There should be a price to pay and loss of her job would be fitting discipline under the circumstances.

I've watched while the city council has made allowances for our freeways to be littered with multiple 50' signage at every freeway intersection, I've seen them bend over backwards for an AM/PM McDonalds whose owner laced the councilman's pockets and even stated the plan was good even before it was brought to the public and the public allowed to comment. This is wrong and it's bad government. How is this being impartial until all comments are brought forth and all views are considered?

Now the city wants to alter this city's only notable attraction, Elk Grove Park with a freeway overpass?

I've watched as the city council has lobbied for a MLS franchise. Totally unrealistic.

How disappointing on so many fronts!

Change is needed, from top to bottom in our local government. November can't come soon enough for this voter.

Thanks to the naysayers for opening this voter's eyes.

Anonymous said...

Just this week on this web site councilmember Hume was speaking of the city even purchasing land for this complex close to the mall should it become available.

Sports fields are planned for the Sepa area, may never happen though. Heck tomorrow they may decide to place a heliport there instead. The MLS Soccer Stadium was Mayor Davis'baby with the backing of the other councilmembers and of course we all know that getting a MLS team here will never happen.

Now we're even hearing that councilmember Hume is meeting with a few citizens in the planning of building an Animal Shelter and we all know those cost a few million. It's like we have a bottomless pit of money to just throw out there at every little whim that anyone has.

Connie said...

First up, I cannot believe that no one in our city’s government knew about the planning of the other aquatics center; especially because of its close proximity to Elk Grove. Do we have that much of a moat around Elk Grove that information doesn't flow in and out? No one in government can keep a secret. As Benjamin Franklin said, “Three of them can keep a secret if two of them are dead!” Our council loves “The secret, secret, I've got a secret game” in the past; so I having a hard time buying no one knew.

I would venture to guess that at least one of those 13 companies that pre-qualified to bid on the SRPD project looked at Elk Grove’s RFP and opted out because they were bidding on what could be a potential competing aquatics center. Did one of them mention why they were not applying to any member of the city staff? Did city staff wonder why we only got one viable bid? Why didn't the feasibility study pick up on the plans for the other aquatic center? I think these are fair questions to ask given the money that has been spent with nothing to show for it.

As far as the taxpayers’ money that has been wasted to date on our “gem of the city,” when is enough going to be enough? I cannot believe it doesn't bother just one of the Elk Grove City Council members.

I can’t remember it all, but so far I can recollect the $100,000 or so for the plans for parks in Laguna Ridge that were trashed; $500,000 for the plans for the civic center; and now $700,000 to date for an aquatics center and water park that isn't supposed to be a bunch of plastic tubes. Not to mention we are being sued by Renyen & Bardis over Laguna Ridge. That lawsuit must be costing us thousands in billable hours and what if we lose that lawsuit; another million back to R & B?

Our gem that is supposed to put Elk Grove on the map is bleeding us dry! I do think the citizens of Elk Grove are due some answers here and not just plausible deniability from the city.

A lot of just wanted our own soccer complex. We are so tired of going to Cherry Island, Redding, Turlock and Pleasanton for weekend tournaments. Elk Grove could have had a complex years ago that would have put all of those complexes to shame. We missed the boat again!

Capt. Benjamin L. Willard said...

Ms. Conley, you bring up several valid points that ought to be addressed by our council members. Of course we all know that will never happen with the current group. Before you know it, the money well will be dry, then what? Maybe that is why Mr. Cooper is trying to bail.

As for your over arching question on why this happens, it can be summed in one word - Hubris.

Anonymous said...

"You're three minutes are".

Logic and Reason said...

The Southgate facility will be a community aquatic center. The Elk Grove facility will be a competition-level aquatic center capable of hosting not just local but statewide, national, even Olympic competitions. And the adjacent water/adventure will be a complementary facility; it gives tournament folk something to do in between meets in addition to drawing customers from around the region.

Long story short, I don't really see how the Southgate *Community* center is even comparable. Once again, a mountain is being made of a molehill.

Anonymous said...

I find this humerous on a certain level. When the talk of a water/aquatic park was first discussed, the council chambers were filled with middle/high school swim teams begging for a place to swim. I remember they talked about limited pools and too many teams; having to have swim practice at night, etc. Specifically, I remember Mayor Davis bending over backward to the coach of the Pirannah Swim Team. He was going to make sure "they had a place to swim". Then somehow, overnight it seems, the swim pool went to a Water Park with slides and tunnels and such. It was going to be located near the new city hall, in a residental area. Now we find out all of these plans were not vetted out properly and Councilmember Hume now admits the location within a residental area, wasn't a good fit. Seems these elected officials are falling all over themselves on this one. They are beginning to look foolish. Either staff or council need to address this issue on Wednesday nigh.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 13:14 "Seems these elected officials are falling all over themselves on this one."

You're right about that and it's sooo obvious too!

Anonymous said...

To Logic and Reason at 13:14...nice try but re-read this part of the story:

"The aquatics component will include an outdoor 25 meter by 25 meter competitive pool with one and three meter diving platforms and covered viewing bleachers. That size is considered a half-Olympic sized pool and is standard for most competitive needs.

Lincoln said the district decided not to include a 10-meter diving platform for a variety of reasons including the fact the competition pool would need to be dug substantially deeper than the 14 to 16-feet slated for their pool which would greatly increase construction and on-going operating costs. Lincoln also noted that there is limited need in the region for a 10-meter diving platform."

Now, try to tell us again how this aquatic park and the one planned for EG are not going to be in competition with each other for events? And Logic & Reason, why did Pat Hume appeared stunned when EGNews asked him about this So Sac park? WHY?? Cause Pat knew they screwed up. Nice try L&R.

Jill said...

To anon 13:51, the word you are looking for is pandering.

BAInc said...

A city with the population of Elk Grove could support a second aquatic park. I don’t see those living in the Franklin or Laguna areas frequenting an aquatic park all the way over at Vintage Park and Waterman. That’s a solid 20-25 minute drive one way.

That being said the Southgate plan is reasonable and not pie in the sky huge like what Elk Grove is proposing. Do we really need a 10 meter diving platform and a 50 meter pool? Are National level events really going to come to Elk Grove? Maybe if we had a University sponsoring but Sac State isn’t going to use our pool. Give the Paraná’s and the high schools a place to practice and hold swim meets but platform diving and National level swim meets? Give me a break.

BTW…EDUSD should be ashamed none of the newer High Schools have pools. Look around Roseville, Folsom, Rocklin, Orangevale, Carmichael, EDH, Davis, West Sacramento, Natomas, etc., etc. almost all of the High Schools in those areas have pools on campus.

Lynn said...

Logic and Reason; how come the city had to "give" 700,000 to a company to explore and study if this concept would work? If a business thought this would be profitable and a great investment I imagine the business would put their own money in right up front. hm....maybe this concept is not profitable...How much more public monies will go for this...Council members whether republican or democrat they are all spending...our tax dollars.
The residents were asking for a competition pool! I didn't hear any of them say "we want our tax dollars to fund an amusement water park"...nor did I hear residents near this site say; hey I really would like an amusement park right in my backyard.
Now I may not have this right, but somehow I thought the city early on asked residents what they wanted in the civic center area and I thought that the city had paid to have a market study done to see what would be feasible. Maybe I am not remembering the community meetings where resident input was sought; maybe I am forgetting; library, community center for entertainment events, children's museum, veterans hall...nope we will get a water amusement park... Maybe I missed the community meetings where residents were asking to become a "destination city"....Sure wish I had been at those meetings especially since I have attended so many over 14 years....

Logic and Reason said...

In response to Anonymous @ 13:59:

Yes, a 25x25 is standard for most competitive needs. That is, for most YOUTH competitive needs. That size will NOT address the need for major competitions. The type of competitions that CAN be held at the Elk Grove facility. The kind that bring overnight guests and their spending on hotels and restaurants.

And yes, there is "limited need in the region for a 10-meter diving platform" because Elk Grove is already planning to include one in their aquatic facility. Have you heard any of the discussions on this in Council meetings? There is no place to dive (10m) anywhere in the Sacramento Region. Teams have to travel as far Stanford just to practice. And yes, there are diving teams in the Sacramento Region.

It may be more expensive to build, but I think we should at least hold out for the results of the feasibility study to see what the ROI will be. And, by the way, to those above saying that this study costs $700k. That is incorrect. The entire cost of Phase 1 is $700k, which includes the feasibility study as only one component.

To conclude:

Competitive facility that hosts major athletic trials and fosters local future college athletes and possibly even Olympians vs. a community pool where kids take lessons and cool off in the summer. Again, these are TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THINGS.

Anonymous said...

southgate recreation has had this planned for at least 5 - 6 years with much of the neighboring development already paying for it.
the Tsunami swim club will be using it as well as 2 or three high schools using it for practices and meets. its much cheaper for high schools to rent it rather than build and operate their own. it will also be a public pool as well.

Connie said...

We could have the finest Olympic-style facility in the world here in Elk Grove but one key component is missing. Any city's convention and visitors bureau (CVB) applying for major events such as collegiate or Olympic trials could only respond to the RFP if they had the minimum number of lodging rooms required.

We simply do not have that in Elk Grove at this time. The plans are to have a major hotel here in Elk Grove at the civic center, that is what 10, 20 years off, and I don’t think it is planned to have over 1,000 rooms which I venture to guess would be minimum to respond to national events. At this time, Elk Grove doesn’t even have a CVB.

It’s great to live large and have big dreams, but when you don’t have the amenities to support what is required, then we are setting ourselves up for major revenue losses.

Anonymous said...

To Logic...
Thanks for the discussion, but I believe you are just trying to talk us off the ledge :)...Please re-read:
"And yes, there is "limited need in the region for a 10-meter diving platform" because Elk Grove is already planning to include one in their aquatic facility. Have you heard any of the discussions on this in Council meetings? There is no place to dive (10m) anywhere in the Sacramento Region. Teams have to travel as far Stanford just to practice. And yes, there are diving teams in the Sacramento Region".
Your reply said there isn't a high demand for the 10m platform because EG was going to build one. Well, I sense your logic has left you. EG only started discussing this 10m platform 6-10 months ago...Southgate opinion reflects years and years of planning and they did not even consider whether EG was going to build one.
Yes, I have heard and listened to nearly each and every council meeting. I consider myself pretty much informed. I also am beginning to wonder if we're pushing this diving platform because Davis's kid is a Pirannah and fancy herself a diver someday? How close to the truth is my assumption? I doubt you will honestly answer, but go ahead. I suspect you are a city employee and have your own opinion (or Laura Gill is telling you what to say). Either way, that's great. More discussion is always welcomed but I don't believe you will sway too many with your arguments. Remember, government is to provide basic necessities like police, fire, roads, etc. When they get into providing swimming pools, etc., they begin to spend tax dollars unnecessarily....

Hemp dad said...

To Gill and the Muppets:

Just call the guy that you agreed to pay $700,000 to and tell him the footprint is now next to the mall and it needs to be downsized to a state of the art community pool. No water park, slides and the like.
- Just build something nice and functional. Why did you let your imaginations run wild on this project (and bringing MLS here when all anyone wanted were comp fields for youth tournaments)?

Let's get something useful out of our investment.

Stop the dreaming of making Elk Grove a "destination city." That boat sailed years ago.

Lynn said...

Logic and Reason; do tell...what exactly do we get for 700,000? What exactly completes phase 1? Will other monies, or could other possible monies be added to phase 1?
Connie; you got it right...and with recent rezones to increase housing in our city...that sure isn't helping the housing job imbalance. It is eye opening to look at the building permits being pulled....Didn't see any for hotels.....

Anonymous said...

Perhaps a refresher course is needed in exactly what this mere $700,00. entailed:

Of particular interest is Page 65, Elk Grove Budget figures with a start attendance of 400,000 people in attendance.

Or better still listen to the City Council Video of this meeting - Item 10.2 starts at approx. 1:42

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Destination City?

Olympic trials venue?

$100 million soccer stadium?

What are they smoking? This isn't Colorado or Washington!

Anonymous said...

Rooftops and Retail, thanks to the developer influence.

Lynn said...

Anonymous 16:39 thank you for sharing the direct link. To logic and reason you are absolutely right we will get more than a market study for our 700,000.
190,000= environmental review
695,739= schematic design, refined project budget and preferred financial the shovel is in the ground with this...or will this be like the civic center; nice expensive binder sitting on a shelf...
spend spend spend....wait will there be a "wayfinding sign" directing everyone to the "binder"?. Finally my sarcasm....
When is enough enough with the city leaders? The residents have had vision and have been right. The elected officials....what vision? today, gone tomorrow...nothing lasting except our soundwall and overpass for bikes to connect the trails and the residents had to fight years! for those two!!

Anonymous said...

WAIT a minute. Davis's kid is a wannta be diver? Perhaps the mayor doseth push too hard for this project for his own personal sake. How many divers are in town? How many families just want a place to gather for swimming, swimming lessons, etc? I would say the numbers are overwhelming FAMILY. This project is just way too expensive; duplicative with Sacramento efforts; and just plain exorbitant, in price and design and ego-building.

Gweneth said...

So at last nights city council meeting Pat Hume questions Laura Gill about whether she and staff knew of the impending Southgate project. She confirms they did know about it, but casually passed it off as being a Wackford-like facility and not a US Olympic type facility that the city is planning. (REALLY?)

My question: Why is the interests of full public disclosure didn't Gill mention this fact to the council members before they voted to give $700,000 of our tax dollars for a feasibility study to be done by a group that has never designed or built such a facility?

Once this fact was vetted it sure seemed like the council has ready to pull the plug on the project completely. - Another waste of $700,000 of our tax dollars wasted.

Gill should be fired for not disclosing this fact prior to council deliberation. She made the entire city council look foolish and her acts are another example of why our city is headed towards bankruptcy if these antics persist.

Anonymous said...

Kudo's to Mr. Hume for bring up the water park at all. However, since he is running for re-election, it appears he is trying to appear as if he cares. Either way, at least he started the discussion that lead to the revelation that Gill and some staff knew about Southgate's plans and it appears, they did not feel it was necessary to divulge all the facts before leading this council down the 700,000 path. One must consider if the Republicans on this council would have approved of this expense if they were fully aware of the size and scope of the Southgate facility? Ms. Gill should face some sort of discipline review for this stunt.
Again, Kudo's to Mr. Hume for agenizing a discussion of "pending projects" so that a prioritization of sorts could be worked out. This is a good start. Let's bring all civic projects forward. Let's review what is still necessary and what is still financially feasible. This is a long overdue discussion and one in which I will be watching closely.
It did seem the aquatic park may be dropped from the priority list after last night's meeting.

Lynn said...

Mr. Hume is up for re-election. Before giving him kudos; the city set aside 14 million dollars for this project, handed over 700,000 for what will be first phase with no shovel in the dirt. Now, Hume thinks that near the residential area is bad placement for this water park....when he voted yes on this project he must of believed was this a good placement site.
I probably could beat up on Gill, as Council most certainly needs someone to blame on this. But remember the City Staff receives their policy direction from the council. How many times does council ask staff opinion. If the staff said no or suggested one of council's ideas was a bad one...well how long do you think they would have their job...especially if staff said "bad idea" in a public hearing. There have been discussions about feasibility of projects for the civic center site...there were many public meetings about what the public would like which of course were dismissed. What I have noticed over the 14 years of attending council meetings that as an election year approaches campaigning begins and wow finally in small, very small ways residents voices are heard... sometimes. Hume mentioned moving the water park to sepa area...ok so now the city will purchase more land? And exactly where is the Big Horn expansion leading to? Money is being spent on the new road to where?, when other roads we residents travel are need of repair....So good start to prioritizing of projects..hmm.....

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