Thanks to our council
On behalf of the donor and all the citizens in support of HAC2, we appreciate the city council’s personal devotion to our city and the long hours they dedicate to address all the city issues, large and small, including long-standing infrastructure issues that have been passed down to them from previous councils.
As citizens we frequently take for granted what personal devotion it takes to lead our city, consider all the facts, and make tough decisions in the city’s best interest. We are grateful that all of them have done so.
We recognize that they have made this decision with the city’s best interest in mind for this year. We appreciate their graciousness in meeting and discussing the HAC2 opportunities and allowing us to respond to their cost and other concerns.
We hope that this HAC2 opportunity will be considered by future councils in the future.
City News Release
City Council NO vote 1/23/24
The hopes of University Park citizens were defeated last night when the University Park City Council voted 2 FOR (Mayor Tommy Stewart and Councilmember Mark Aldredge) and 3 AGAINST funding the next step for the Holmes Aquatic Center Phase 2 with no concluding council comment.
This was the third attempt in nine years to complete the Holmes Aquatic Center’s 2015 master plan to renovate the 85-year-old “heart” of the pool water filtration system and to add the first dedicated community center.
The vote AGAINST was despite the donor’s unprecedented $1 million offer to help fund the community center portion of the project in celebration of the University Park Centennial year.
Phase 2 had been unanimously recommended by two Park Directors, two Park Advisory Chairs and three Park Advisory Committees in 2015, 2019 and 2023-2024.
The dedicated Community Center has been citizen requested in surveys since 2015 and in two “Indoor” park requests listed as “Upcoming” in the Centennial Master Plan.
The unique $1 million offer was made last February by the now retired Park Advisory Committee Chair who served for 36 years. He is credited with the acquisition, design, and upgrade of University Park’ s parks since 1985.
The donor had hoped the citizens’ efforts, and his $1 million offer would stimulate the city to fund the final creative step to construct the wanted and needed year-round place where citizens and families could gather for the next hundred years, like the loved pool, ball fields, tennis courts, etc.
This was the Holmes Aquatic Center Phase 2 Opportunity
The University Park Council voted on January 23, 2024 on the funding steps for the Holmes Aquatic Center Phase 2 (HAC2) for the third time with a donor’s unprecedented incentive to start construction of the Meeting Room* in HAC2 in the Centennial Year 2024. The donor’s $1 million offer was made on February 16, 2023 11 months ago.
The intent of this website is to inform University Park residents of the opportunities it creates, so we can work together with the city to make this happen.
See current articles:
“Former University Park resident offers $1 million to push city pool project ahead” Dallas Morning News, October 4, 2023 by Irving Mejia-Hilario and
“Former UP Volunteer Offers $1M For Holmes Aquatic Center Project” Park Cities People, October 20, 2023 by Rachel Snyder
This unofficial, citizen website intends to answer HAC2’s who, what, where and why and to solicit UP residents’ input, questions and support to work with the city to make this happen. We will update this website often as we obtain more information, seek suggestions, support and publish meeting dates.
*Since 2015, the Meeting Room has been requested by various individuals, groups and organizations using names like a “family center, community center and gathering place” depending on the activities they wanted. For this website we refer to it as “Meeting Room” from the labels used on the plans.
The Park Advisory Committee & Park Department (PARK) unanimously recommended the Holmes Aquatic Center comprehensive plan in 2015, which included Phase 1 and Phase 2. Phase 1’s eastern building complex was funded and built in 2016. But the Pump Room and Meeting Room* were delayed and became Phase 2 (HAC2).
“Phase 1 without Phase 2 is like replacing the bodywork the family’s antique car and hoping the 84-year-old engine will make the summer’s cross-country trip.”
The Pump Room is 84-years-old, designed and built by the WPA during the Great Depression and on its last legs for years. That is why the PARK unanimously recommended its replacement in the 2015, 2019 and now again in 2023.
How important is that Pump Room replacement? The pool hosts on average 30,000 visits per summer season. Over 800 hundred citizens signed petitions to the city to keep the pool open during COVID when most pools nationwide were closed during the pandemic. And its new modern design and performance will be comparable to other cities’ pools.
The new efficient Pump Room design not only creates a “better engine” for comfort and safety, but its compact design allowed the PARK to design a Meeting Room* in the free space.