The Waverly aquatic center gets a makeover | local government

Lancaster County commissioners decided last week to give $250,000 in US federal bailout law funds to Waverly to help pay for a new aquatic center.

Waverly has wanted to replace its aging pool for years – and in 2020 voters approved a $3.5 million bond issue and a half-cent sales tax hike to pay for an aquatic center update.

Like almost everything else, the pandemic brought the project to a screeching halt, but city officials are now determined to move forward.

“We literally have duct tape holding parts of our pool together this year,” City Administrator Stephanie Fisher told Lancaster County Council last week. “So we’re at mission critical now.”

Initially, city officials estimated that the aquatic center — which would meet ADA requirements, have zero-entry features, a current flume, slides, a diving board, and twice the capacity of the existing pool — would cost around $4.5 million.

Enter supply chain issues and inflation, and the lowest bid received by city officials was $6.4 million, Fisher said.

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Including the bond issue, fundraising efforts and grants, Waverly has about $4.6 million on hand.

The city and the Greater Waverly Area Foundation Fund are still fundraising, Fisher told the county council. And supporters told city council at a meeting in May that they wanted to get the project started because fundraising will get harder the longer they wait and at least one grant for the project has an expiration date.

“This is a project the city needs,” Fisher told the county council. “We’re just trying to figure out how to get it in the ground.”

To that end, county commissioners — who said such an aquatic center would benefit tourism and the county as a whole — allocated money from the $62 million in federal stimulus funds it received.

Construction could begin in August or September.

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