Tag Archives: Walnut Aquatic Park

Walnut Aquatic Park Update

Image Courtesy:  City of Walnut   Conceptual drawing of proposed Aquatic Park

Image Courtesy: City of Walnut
Conceptual drawing of proposed Aquatic Park

By Claudine Stines

Walnut – As you may recall, in October of last year, Standard Pacific filed a Writ of Mandate against the City of Walnut stating, in short, the Three Oaks property could not be sold, but would revert back to the original developer if not used for the purpose intended (swimming pool and recreational facility).  While the Writ was filed, they did not act upon it, preferring to negotiate; negotiations have been going on since that time.

On Wed., July 22, the Walnut City Council was scheduled to review negotiations for the sale of the property in a closed session. After their review of the Purchase and Sale Agreement, the Council was to reconvene at their Meeting and announce the closed session actions, according to page 6 of the Council agenda.

Other developers did bid on the sale of the property for approximately $15 to $16 million, thus causing Standard Pacific to enter the picture.  The Three Oaks property appraised at approximately $5 to $6 million – considerably short of the $20 million the City would need to build the aquatic park, per the conceptual drawing previously submitted on Oct. 8, 2014.

Depending on the financial outcome, the City may have to scale back to accommodate the shortfall, building only the recreation facility, one pool and parking – and develop a strategy to add the additional pool, amphitheater, etc., as additional funds are budgeted in the coming year(s).

As of this month, the renovation of the Walnut High pool has finally started; the estimated time of completion is not known at this time.  You may not be aware that the renovation will cause the City to modify their summer aquatic program due to the configuration of the pool.  They will no longer be able to support instruction for the smaller swimmers and some adult programs due to the new depth of the pool.

While Council members are in favor of the aquatic center, it appears even at this level of government the wheels of progress have been moving slowly. Council members need to hear from citizens; otherwise the momentum of this vision for the community will continue to move at an even slower pace.

Council members may be contacted, as follows:  Robert Pacheco, Mayor (bpacheco@ci.walnut.ca.us); Mary Su, Mayor Pro Tem (msu@ci.walnut.ca.us); Nancy Tragarz, Council Member (ntragarz@ci.walnut.ca.us); Eric Ching, Council Member (eching@ci.walnut.ca.us); Antonio Cartagena, Council Member (tcartagena@ci.walnut.ca.us).

Walnut Family Festival Thank You

BY CLAUDINE STINES

Walnut – The purpose of our presence at the Walnut Family Festival was to make a difference in our community and continue to bring awareness of the need for an aquatic park.  This year, we gave residents the opportunity to view the proposed drawing of the aquatic park and amphitheater and to increase our data base in order to keep residents informed.

Our presence at the festival was well received.  Additionally, after one year, we continue to receive an overwhelming amount of positive comments. All questions posed to volunteers at the booth centered on the aquatic park and when it would be built. Certainly, I wanted to say next year, but will continue to keep you informed of the City’s progress.

walnut_aquatic_park

Walnut Aquatic Park Conceptual Drawing (Photo Courtesy: Claudine Stines)

While the schematic of the proposed site of the aquatic park was displayed and its location identified (Sierra Alta Road intersection and entry into the park, west of the soccer fields, and even sighting Westhoff Elementary School), attendees looking at the conceptual drawing could not grasp the exact location. Suggestions were made to place signage at the proposed site on Amar Road identifying the exact location.  The sign currently in the proposed area of the site states, “Walnut Ranch Park Expansion,” which was placed there by the previous developer.

The community liked the idea of the elevated water temperature in the vicinity considered recreation/therapeutic pools, 6-lane lap pool, zero to four feet entry pool and River Current Channel.  The age group varied and included both men and women.  Seniors just liked the therapeutic area, period.

Additionally, it was asked if the Recreation Building could include a ballroom with a capacity of 500 people and additional classrooms as promised.  Some years ago Walnut residents were invited to a Parks and Recreation Commission meeting to identify what they would like to see in this facility; hence the comments.  For those of you who are not familiar with the Diamond Bar facility, the banquet room has seating for 800 plus people, which is continually booked, and, not because it is low-priced.

Finally, young parents really liked the Spray Park with zero depth. The Amphitheater and additional parking for the soccer field were also well received. Naturally, our young adults and teens wanted to know when the water slides would be built.

In no particular order, please join me in thanking those volunteers who have always been there to support our efforts. Without you, we wouldn’t have had a booth at the Festival.

  • Paul and Linda Yang, from Walnut Signs, for our two banners and translating our flyer into Chinese.
  • Venessa Pai, for attaching ribbons to over 1,000 pictures.
  • Michel Paulson and Jackie, Golden Spoon Representatives, who walked the festival passing out brochures and Golden Spoon coupons wearing Walnut Aquatic posters.
  • Sharon Walker, a Red Hat Lady.
  • Noni Nabong-Cabote.
  • Lily Tseng.
  • Roger Peng.
  • Angel Lin.
  • Magdalena DeZubiria and Nicholas.
  • Shelly Rzonka and Family.
  • Jodie Lepp and Friends.
  • Kenny Silverberg.
  • The Manuel Family.

Walnut’s Water Park Schematic Plan

BY RAYMOND MENDOZA

 

Walnut-aquatic-park-city-presentation

City officials meeting with Aquatic Design Group Vice President, Justin Caron, as he presents a plan for the City’s proposed Aquatic Park.

Walnut – City officials met with a representative from the Aquatic Design Group on Wed., Oct. 8 for a study session event, outlining the schematic plans for the City’s proposed Aquatic Center and Amphitheater.

The Aquatic Center, planned for the 20000 block of Amar Road off Alta Sierra Road near Walnut Ranch Park, has been a long-time desire for some residents who have called for a municipal pool site in Walnut for years.

More than ten residents attended the meeting, where Aquatic Design Group Vice President, Justin Caron, outlined various ideas for what the park could host, including slides, three pools, a water spray park, locker rooms, an amphitheater, reception areas and more. Furthermore, the plan outlined 333 parking spaces to ensure space for the lots even when the pools, park and amphitheater are in use.

Mary Rooney, Community Services Director, said the flexibility of the slides and splash areas would be ideal for Walnut’s weather, with easy maintenance, fast ways to drain the excess amenities during the winter months, and the ability to refill and staff the slides and splash areas if a heat wave hits the City.

Rooney said that while the entire basis of the study session was to show a rough idea of what the park would look like, the plan’s outline is a good enough to show the public and City Council for further deliberation.

“Now you have a concept,” Rooney said. “Now you have something to walk with to show your constituents…nothing is set in stone, but we would like your feedback.”

Caron said the total estimated cost for the entire project would cost the City $19.9 million, with a breakdown of $3.6 million for site work, $532,000 for utilities, $3.8 million for construction of buildings, $600,000 for the amphitheater, $4.7 million for the pools, and an estimated $6.7 million for contractors, insurance, bonds and construction contingencies.

When pressed by councilmember Eric Ching, Caron suggested an estimated general admission fee of $5 to $7 for adult, with the possibility of cheaper rates for Walnut residents and higher fees for non-residents. However, he mentioned that the City can choose to set admission prices at whatever they wanted when the project reached its completion.

Councilmember, Tony Cartagena, said he was “very excited” at the thought of the City’s plans coming to fruition, stating that the planned amenities are extensive and impressive.

Attendees were mostly optimistic about the project, yet most of the hesitance from residents centered on parking and traffic studies.

Walnut resident, Claudine Stines, said she has been a supporter for the Aquatic Center for years, but that the latest schematics might not have sufficient parking for all the proposed features.

Walnut resident, Gary Gidcumb, said that while he liked the idea of Walnut having a recreational pool, he would like to see a traffic study done for the area to ensure a safe traffic flow. Gidcumb described the schematic plans as “too much,” and that if the City scaled back some of its ideas, it would be more likely to complete its long-time project.

“I’d like to see a pool in Walnut,” Gidcumb said. “Hopefully, before I’m 100 years old.”