The Eanes ISD Board of Trustees approved a contract with WAQUA, LLC for operations management of an Aquatics Center this week, finalizing a decades-long push for a school district pool.
The estimated $10.3 million facility was approved in the 2019 Bond with a promise to the voters that the District would not absorb any operational costs. The finalized contract approves WAQUA, LLC, to cover all operational costs associated with the Aquatics Center while maintaining expectations established by the District with regard to student and community use.
Using bond funds, for every $1 received, Eanes ISD keeps 100 percent compared to approximately $0.34 on the Maintenence & Operations side. New construction and certain infrastructure such as the aquatics center can only be funded with bonds. M&O money funds day-to-day expenses, such as teacher salaries and campus utilities. Bond funds cannot be used for staff salaries.
“The board is very excited to move forward with this aquatics center,” said Eanes ISD Board President Jennifer Champagne. “The agreement fulfills the commitment made to our community that there would be no impact on our budget and provides a much-needed space for our students.”
“We are excited to move forward in what will serve our community’s needs for years,” said Dr. Tom Leonard, Superintendent of Schools. “Not only will our students and community benefit from this facility, but to operate at a cost-neutral basis is a huge win for our constituents.”
The District will have facility access for the Westlake High School swimming and diving programs, a possible middle school expansion swim program, potential water polo and other District swim activities, and community use for pool time, swim lessons and swim club rentals.
The initial contract term is five years, with the ability to renew the contract for up to four additional five-year terms. The contract provides for profit sharing, as well as sharing of costs for certain construction or design upgrades.
WAQUA, LLC is the principal group that operates the Westlake Athletic Community Center (WACC), which is adjacent to the Aquatics Center site and currently provides access for Westlake HS student groups including badminton, band, baseball, basketball, cheer, EVE (color guard), football, soccer, softball, Teen Teaching and track.
“Our team has had a wonderful relationship with EISD for the past five years and we are thrilled to expand our relationship to include the Aquatics facility," said Jeff Buch, WAQUA, LLC President. "We know our primary responsibility is to support the current and future EISD aquatics programs and we look forward to doing so, while simultaneously providing a host of new and exciting aquatics opportunities to the community as a whole."
Construction on the Aquatics Center will begin immediately, as will the approved Robotics expansion and new Wrestling space.
Eanes ISD voters approved the $80 million bond proposal in May 2019 with projects in safety & security, student programs & support, energy efficiency & conservation, and facilities. The bond also includes new spaces for the Westlake High School wrestling programs and expanded space for the robotics and engineering programs.
The voters approved the lone proposition at 82.5 percent.