The Regional Public Facilities District has approved a new study that will re-examine and modify the failed 2013 Regional Aquatic Center plan that was approved by voters in Pasco and Franklin County, but rejected in Richland, Kennewick and Benton County. The measure failed to pass. (Pictured is the original 2013 project).

$39,500 will be spent to redesign and modify the plan to incorporate more amenities that officials think will appeal to local residents, as well as potentially attract tourists and help encourage visitors to come to the area.

The District is using the same design team who helped create the previous proposal, so they are familiar with the region. Officials believe that will help them create a plan that is more likely to be approved by voters.

Some of the differences in the new plan would likely include:

  • Instead of seeking voter approval from all three cities and both counties, the new proposal would be decided by Pasco voters for a tax-subsidized project.
  • The new idea will start off utilizing the previous plan, and modify it from there. That will save time and money, not having to start over.
  • The original design included an year-round indoor building with a 25-meter competition pool, warm up pool, a surf simulator, plus activity and leisure pools and a river channel.  The new design could incorporate some or all of these elements. Outdoor elements would possibly include a wave pool, leisure pool,slides and a river channel
  • The previous 2013 plan would have cost about $36 million, currently the PFD has about $20 million to work with.

The Public Facilities District voted unanimously to approve the study, but cannot put it on a ballot before voters. That move would be left up to the Pasco City Council. It's estimated the study would take 4-5 months to complete.