RENO, Nev. (KOLO) – The New Moana Springs Community Aquatics and Fitness Center should come in at a cost between $50,000,000 and $53,000,000 million dollars once complete.

When finished it will have a 50-meter pool, diving area and other amenities.

In the end though the city says they view this facility as fulfilling one important goal.

“Is to teach kids how to swim,” Nathan Ullyot with Reno Recreation Department. “Especially with the bodies of water we have with the rivers and lakes. Kids need to know how to swim, and they need to learn early. So that we don’t have tragedy in our community.” Which may explain the large area at the front entrance of the new pool.

Just to the left and right of the main desk, are lockers and an open area for adults and children to quickly strip down to their suits, and place shirts, shoes, even shorts or pants in the nearby lockers.

“They will come in with their small children and they don’t want to separate from them as they go through a locker room,” says Ullyot.

The 11,000 square foot facility is designed to accommodate not only swimming lessons, but lap swimming, water polo, diving, synchronized swimming and competitive swimming and diving events.

It’s estimated there will be 300 unique daily visits. Which is why one group says this:

“There is still insufficient space in the private changing area for those locker rooms,” says Richard Wait with the Sierra Nevada Community Aquatics.

Wait represents approximately 350 local residents who are enthusiasts of everything related to aquatic sports.

He says Sierra Nevada Community Aquatics helped make connections for Moana Springs Community Aquatics and Fitness Center funding. And the group has brought up design suggestions to ensure the pool is built right the first time. And he says in many cases the city has taken up those suggestions.

The group is now calling for an abolishment of the quick-change area, and extending a wall here so that additional space is added to the existing enclosed locker rooms.

“The aquatics users are going to certainly outnumber the fitness center,” says Wait. “But you still have fitness center users who are going to be using the same space to change their clothes. That space as compared to the Carson City facility, Idlewild Pool as an alternative and Northwest as the other two primary pools in the city; the locker rooms in those facilities are larger. It’s better if we do this now.”

Ullyot admits space could be limited during major competition and they will adjust. But he says.

“The same way restaurants don’t build for Valentines Day they build for their normal operation.”

Ullyot says the open changing room concept is a modern design. He says it’s one which families have asked for. When asked which families he says.

“We are trying to be a voice for the folks who aren’t going to come,” says Ullyot. “They go to our other pools. We see them separate and those types of things. Again, we’ve taken what is becoming a national standard design and implemented that into a new facility.”

He mentions Carson’s Pool and an indoor pool in Truckee with such designs.

But in my inquiries neither pool had an open quick changing area like the one at Moana.

“The other alternative is to open the pool and do it later,” says Wait. “Ok talk is cheap.”

Wait says a contingency fund could be used to pay for the wall extension.

The city says most of the more than $2,000,000 dollar fund has been spent on geothermal installations at the pool.

The city also says to make such a change would require new building permits, delaying the opening of Moana Springs Community Aquatics and Fitness center by six months.

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