The indoor pools and waterslides at the Green Valley Ranch Recreation Center are swimming closer to reality.
Two years after Denver Parks and Rec told us about the $15 million natatorium (a fancy word for an indoor pool) coming to the city’s far east corner, construction is getting closer, though its completion is still two years away.
But there are renderings! They are conceptual but give us an idea of what the final product will look like:
The 16,000-square-foot addition will include two pools — one for swimming laps that will have four lanes and reach a depth of 9 feet, and a “leisure pool” that will be shallower and include a 100-foot-long lazy river for floating. Parks and Rec planners imagine water sports and aerobics in both pools.
But let’s talk about the waterslides.
Yes, plural. One is built for speed, with a steep 20-foot drop, while the other is more of a curly French fry situation that flushes people out of the building for a few twirls and back into the pool area to have another go.
“It figure-eights, twisting multiple times, and then takes you right back inside to ride it again,” said Elizabeth Romanowski, who supervises facilities for Parks and Rec, during a Denver City Council infrastructure committee meeting on Tuesday. “And then when you’re up at that platform waiting to go on the slide, we included a bay window that extends that platform out and provides some amazing views.”
It is really fun to hear government people talk about waterslides.
Romanowski said the addition will close a “service gap” in northeast Denver, which lacks aquatic infrastructure.
Council President Stacie Gilmore, who represents Green Valley Ranch, said the pools and slides are a long time coming, and that the addition excites her.
“When I came onto council in 2015, we right away started advocating for an indoor pool to close this part of the story for Green Valley Ranch and the surrounding communities,” Gilmore said, “and especially around the equity conversation, because a lot of Black and brown children and adults haven’t had the opportunity to learn how to swim. And that is in large part because they don’t have amenities close to home to get there.”
The addition will be paid for with money from bonds approved by voters in 2017. Parks and Rec officials expect the project to be done by spring 2023.