Apr 1, 2010 8:50 PM by Greg Boyce
It took seven years of planning, but thanks to a grant from lottery proceeds, the eastern plains will finally get a new aquatic center. The grant of $700,000 was awarded Thursday to El Paso County by Great Outdoors Colorado.
"This is exciting news for eastern El Paso County and the more than 30,000 residents who will be served by this new aquatic center," said El Paso County Commissioner Amy Lathen. "This facility is exactly the type of effort and programming that our Colorado Lottery dollars should be going towards and we are so thankful that the grant has been approved."
Serving the towns of Simla, Ramah, Matheson, Rush, Yoder, Calhan, Peyton, Ellicott and Falcon among others, the Eastern Plains Aquatic Center will be the only aquatic facility in the area. The center will include a zero-depth entry, lap lanes, slides, a current channel and a pool house, and will be host to swimming lessons, water therapy, aquatic fitness, and swim team practices. Once completed, the center will be operated and maintained by RCCDI.
The grant is one of 23 in 16 counties that received awards. The GOCO Board offered an additional grant opportunity this year beyond the annual programs it offers after learning from local governments that they could use more GOCO funds to take advantage of lower construction and material costs for trails and outdoor recreation projects. Similarly, the land trust community indicated that changes in the real estate market had led to increased interest among landowners in conserving properties. State Parks had also completed an extensive planning process for its newest park-Staunton State Park in Jefferson and Park counties near Pine-and was ready to proceed with development.