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Name chosen for Garden City’s new aquatics center

Meghan Flynn
mflynn@gctelegram.com
The Big Pool sits at 504 E. Maple St. in Garden City. City commissioners voted to not have a 2020 summer season at the pool.

GARDEN CITY–The new Garden City aquatics center won’t be open for a 2020 summer season, but it now has a name — Garden Rapids, with the tag line, the Big Pool.

Last month the Garden City commissioners voted to keep the new facility closed this summer because of the coronavirus, but at a recent meeting they reviewed online survey results where community members voted on one of four name possibilities.

The name choices were Garden Rapids, Thunder Basin, Garden Oasis and World of Water.

More than 180 people responded to the survey ranking the names and accompanying themes.

Garden Rapids was the leader by a small margin with Garden Oasis and Thunder Basin at a tie and World of Water tailing behind.

Terry Berkbuegler of the design team with Confluence, the architectural firm for the project, said it was important to have the name and theme as soon as possible because it influences the color choices, some of the signage and graphics, etc.

“Once we have this input from you then there will be a process by which we'll be bringing back more details, design of some of those parts and pieces for you,” he said. “There will still be opportunities, that's something we also hope to be able to engage the community in the design process, or in some of those more aesthetic related options as well.”

Commissioner Shannon Dick said he liked that the name options included animals as it ties into the zoo.

“As a family activity The Big Pool and the Zoo, you probably can't beat it in southwest Kansas for the price, for the value that you get,” he said. “I think that any way that we can continue to tie those two projects together would be better.”

Dick said no matter the name the new facility should be tagged with “at the Big Pool” because that’s what people will always call it when they say they’re going to the new facility.

“I think that is probably a way that we can still put a nod to that and acknowledge that this aquatics facility for Garden City is the Big Pool,” he said. “It's not necessarily what's there, but the idea of that large water facility is the Big Pool for Garden City.”