Last September, Money magazine was the latest publication to rank McKinney, Texas, as the best place to live in the U.S., based on such factors as economic growth and the quality of its schools.
The city, located about 33 miles north of Dallas, is trying to capitalize its newfound status to attract more residents and businesses. (Its population is currently around 155,000.)
To that end, next Monday McKinney is scheduled to begin construction on a $34.5 million 80,000-sf aquatic and fitness center that local officials hope will make the city even more marketable to newcomers. The center will be built at the Gabe Nesbitt Community Park.
Brinkley Sargent Wiginton Architects is the architect of record on this project. Moody Nolan is the recreational designer. Counsilman-Hunsaker is the aquatics consultant. And Manhattan Construction Group is the Construction Manager at Risk. The city started accepting subcontractor bids in May, and local officials expect the center to be completed by December 2016.
The three-story center will have a gym, fitness rooms, sports courts, water slides, and 10,000 sf of pools, including a 25-meter indoor competitive pool. The center will also offer classes and childcare.
The Courier-Gazette, a local newspaper, reports that $33 million of the project’s cost are being funded by the McKinney Community Development Corporation with a combination of sales tax revenue and bond financing.
This project, the biggest in McKinney’s history, has been kicking around since 1999, when Ryan Mullins became the city’s assistant parks and recreation director. In 2006, voters approved bond financing for the center. (The Dallas Morning News reports that the final plans for the center are scaled down from an initial project that would have cost $44 million. It also reports that the center has taken so long to get started because the McKinney Independent School district, which was to provide $15 million, backed out of the deal.)
The groundbreaking for the new center will be a welcome event for McKinney, whose image took a hit last month when, during a rowdy party the Craig Ranch Community pool, a police officer pushed a 15-year-old girl to the ground and drew his gun on other young people.