North Laurel is on track to be the home of the county’s second public pool.
Funds for the project were included in the capital projects budget approved by the County Council late last month. The budget includes $5 million for the pool, which includes $1 million for project designs and $4 million for the start of construction, according to Raul Delerme, chief of capital projects, park planning and construction for the Department of Recreation and Parks.
The project is slated to receive another $11 million in the fiscal 2020 capital budget for the remainder of the construction costs, as noted in the 2019 budget.
Plans for the pool, to be attached to the North Laurel Community Center, have been in the works since the creation of the community center’s master plan in 2008. The community center opened in 2011.
The pool’s facility will include eight lap lanes and a warmer temperature leisure pool that will feature a slide, Delerme said. The leisure pool could be used by older swimmers and water aerobic classes that could be offered by the community center’s 50+ center.
While the county is home to more than two dozen indoor and outdoor pools, the vast majority are privately owned by Columbia’s nonprofit community services corporation, the Columbia Association. Admission to the pools is included in some of the association’s membership packages, but for non-members and those who don’t live on CA-assessed property, admission is up to $30 for adults on weekends.
Daily admission to the county’s sole public pool at the Roger Carter Community Center in Ellicott City is $5 for children over 2 and adults, and is included in the drop-in fee for use of the entire community center. Both the Columbia Association and the county offer annual membership packages that include use of pools.
“We are excited about the project,” said North Laurel Community Center Director Matt Madera. “To deliver something that we know our community is very interested in, [we] look forward to getting the process started.”
Schematic plans for the pool have been drawn with Virginia and Maryland-based architecture firm RRMM Architects, the same firm that designed the community center. With the funding from the 2019 capital budget, detailed design plans will be drawn to go through the county’s zoning approval process, Delerme said.
While a specific groundbreaking date for the pool has not been set, Delerme said grading on the land could start as early as late spring next year. The project is estimated to take two years to complete.