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No Indoor Pool at Eureka Recreation Center Has Some Not Splashing for Joy

A nice-sized outdoor pool will be available at the new Eureka Recreational Center being built, but some residents are disappointed because an outdoor pool will not serve a variety of interests and needs year-round. Read when it will open.

Some Eureka residents tell Patch they wonder why an indoor pool was not incorporated into the plans for the city's new Recreational Center being built. They stated an indoor pool would be beneficial for water-based therapy, fitness and those with physical challenges. Missy Bundren, director of Eureka's Parks and Recreation Department, said it was a matter of costs.

"When we first started planning the Recreational Center, there was a set budget. We had to be picky and choosy about what we could do with that budget," said Bundren.

She said the maintenance costs of operating an indoor pool year-round also was a factor, given the extra utilities' costs, heating, humidity control, chemicals' costs and staffing necessary to operate one.

Eureka resident Carleen Murray also voiced concerns and questions about the lack of an indoor pool within the Recreational Center at the Eureka Town Hall hosted Thursday evening at the Eureka Community Center. She compared it to the RiverChase recreational facility in Fenton, which does have an indoor pool. "If members or users are financing the cost, it doesn't make sense to not have an indoor pool that families can use year-round," she said.

Bundren said RiverChase was a much older facility, and that Eureka teams compared the new rec center moreso to the Sunset Hills recreational facility, which she said was five years old and with an outdoor pool only, too. She said a study done for Eureka by a third-party source identified more needs for other rec center components, compared to an indoor pool. But she said land was left and set aside at the site to expand and create an indoor pool in the future, if finances allow for it. 

"What would need to happen for the city to add the indoor pool? A certain amount of membership?" posed Murray.

Bundren answered that revenue would be the biggest driver.

The Eureka Recreation Center will be called “The Timbers" to go with its rustic setting and cedar outside components. It is slated to open mid-July, Mayor Kevin Coffey told town hall attendees.

The nearly 30,000-square-foot facility will contain the following amenities:

  • Fitness center with cardio and strength equipment
  • Group exercise room 
  • Locker rooms with saunas
  • Full-size gymnasium
  • Two meeting rooms that can be combined into one larger room
  • Tot care room
  • Outdoor pool with diving board, lap swimming lanes, leisure pool with beachfront entry, waterfall, current channel and slide
  • Concession stand
  • Wet party room
srsly April 12, 2013 at 02:46 PM
looking forward to this! we've frequented the Ballwin pools even though we're not residents; when we moved here and realized this was coming right down the road we were very excited. we're definitely signing up. if it's in the cards down the road, we'd surely be interested in a year round membership if an indoor pool could be added in later. i think that's a great idea.
Lainey Starwalt April 12, 2013 at 11:12 PM
We were extremely disappointed to learn the new facility wouldn't have an indoor pool. We use the YMCA facility in Wildwood, which is not very convenient with our busy schedules. We would have been more than happy to help financially support a year-round indoor pool in Eureka. I think this was a big mistake, I don't know what the membership cost in Eureka will be, but I'll likely continue to use YMCA because my kids can swim when I work out. Again, very disappointed.
Sharon Wasson April 14, 2013 at 10:21 AM
Perhaps they should look at adding a bubble like Cape Girardeau. It works~
Carleen Murray April 16, 2013 at 02:55 AM
I am very disappointed in The Timbers. As stated in the above article, "...a study done for Eureka by a third-party source identified more needs for other rec center components, compared to an indoor pool." How much did this third-party study cost? Why pay a third-party source for this information? Why not simply ask the people of Eureka, the people that will be using the facility? A quick poll of Eureka's residents could have provided more tailored information and would have been more inclusive of the residents. Many of the residents that I have spoken with feel that we have been left in the dark in regards to The Timbers. Also, the money saved from not using the third-party source could have been put toward “other rec center components.” It is my understanding that the city has been collecting tax dollars, a specific rec center tax, for several years in order to help fund this rec center. I’m curious to know how many tax dollars the city has received for this rec center and where exactly the money has gone. It would be nice to know how this money has been spent. An actual report, not just hear say or approximations. Perhaps a report like this is already available and I am simply not aware. If you know of one, please let me know.......(see next post)
Carleen Murray April 16, 2013 at 02:56 AM
...(see previous post)... Mayor Coffey and Missy Bundren state that one of the reasons for the high membership costs is the costs of operations and upkeep. If the membership rate is lowered more households would be able to obtain membership therefore increase the overall income of The Timbers. For example 1,000 households x $550 yearly membership = $550,000 or 2,000 households x $300 yearly membership = $600,000. The Timbers seems to be compared to the Wildwood YMCA a lot. I want to clarify that the YMCA does not receive tax dollars to help support the facility. Therefore, the cost of membership is expected to be more so than that of a city recreation center. The Timbers should be compared to other recreation centers in close proximity to the City of Eureka. For example, River Chase, in Fenton. Yes, River Chase is quite a bit older. However, the condition of their facility remains to be very well kept and up to date while still making it affordable to residents and non-residents......(see next post)...
Carleen Murray April 16, 2013 at 02:57 AM
...(see previous post)... Another concern of mine is the maintenance and upkeep of The Timbers. Who is going to be doing the maintenance and upkeep? Will it be any of the Public Works employees or any other city workers? If so, how will they be paid? Will The Timbers be paying the same utility rates (water, trash, electric surcharge to the city) as other businesses or will it be subsidized by the Eureka residents, member or not. What are the options for families during winter months? This is supposed to be all about community; however, what options are available at The Timbers for children during the months of September through May? Also, how is the opening of The Timbers going to affect the cost of programs such as Tae Kwon Do, Gymnastics, and Aerobics etc…? It has been stated that these issues will be addressed later as they are still being finalized. However, is this just a way to keep the residents of Eureka in the dark?
R Jones May 02, 2013 at 03:43 PM
If this Recreation Center receives the same type of support from the over demanding but house poor residents that the Country Club received I don't see it lasting half as long as their Golf Course did. The only good thing they (City admins) have going for them is that the taxpayers are going to be left to pick up the bill basically making it too big to fail.

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