How private money is helping shape the future of public pools

Simplified: Five pools in Sioux Falls will be renovated or replaced by 2026, and the first-ever donation from the new Sioux Falls Parks Foundation will launch a community survey that will help with the design.

why is it important

  • The Sioux Falls Parks Foundation donated $137,000 Towards the city. The foundation – formed last fall – is an arm of the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation, and most of the money will fund a community engagement study to allow citizens of Sioux Falls to share their ideas. for parks.
  • The donation also includes approximately $37,000 for a $55,000 study on how the city can better understand how to attract donations through naming rights. The city will bear the rest of the bill for this study.
  • Three neighborhood pools – Frank Olson, Kuehn Park and the McKennan Park wading pool – will be replaced entirely, and two others – Laurel Oaks and Terrace Park – will see renovations over the next four years based on this plan.

“When we heard about the need for funds to help fund this community engagement process, we just started talking among ourselves, like maybe it would be a good first gift for us,” said the president of Sioux Falls Parks Foundation, Jennifer Kirby. “And it’s something that’s going to benefit the whole community and also serve the community for decades to come.”

Tell me more about the process for new pools

Just under $100,000 of the Sioux Falls Parks Foundation donation will go to a community engagement survey for the five target pools. The city will use a system called Social Pinpoint to schedule meetings and gather community feedback.

Three series of community meetings will be held to gather feedback from residents starting in July.

  • The first round will take general feedback on the design of the park to help with early design ideas.
  • The second round will focus on making changes to the first design and continuing the concept planning.
  • Round three will finalize park designs and fine-tune last-minute changes.

These meetings will be both in neighborhoods and across the city.

More information on the Aquatic Update Plan can be found on page 54 of the Mayor’s Capital Improvement Plan. You can find this document here.

“It’s probably been for the last 10 or 15 years that replacing these pools has been on our radar and we really needed to come up with a plan for how we’re going to replace them because a lot of them are at or near the end of their useful life,” Parks and Recreation Manager Don Kearney said.

How private donors fit into future city plans

Donations are already funding the aquatic community engagement study, and a potential deal with Minnesota-based BWF could find untapped donor opportunities in the city.

  • BWF will consider all the assets of the citynot just in parks.
  • The company will help the city find opportunities for donors, including naming opportunities, cause-related marketing and direct philanthropy, according to a presentation given to city council on Tuesday afternoon.

“They will also be able to use this (study) to match donors with park system projects,” said Mike Patton, parks development specialist at the city.

What happens next?

The Council approved the first reading of the plan to spend the foundation’s donation (plus approximately $18,000 in municipal funds) on the studies. These are moving forward for final approval on June 21.

Investigations are due to begin in July, with pool designs expected to be finalized in 2023. If you would like to participate in the inquiry and engagement process, let Parks and Recreation know.

  • The Capital Improvement Project allocated $1.9 million to fund this part of the pool renovation process.
  • An additional amount of $500,000 will be allocated in 2024, when the first renovations can begin.

All renovations are expected to be completed by 2026 and will be staggered so that the pools are not all closed at the same time.

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