Como Park Swimming Pool

Will the Como Park swimming pool survive the budget cuts?

Future fate of Como Park swimming pool is on Parks Commission agenda.

The Como pool planning committee approved for final report preparation the refined schematic design that was presented Monday, April 20.

A detailed report (140 pages) was released last week. You can download it by clicking this link (warning, this is a 17.4 MB PDF report on the “Como Park Regional Pool Replacement”) It might take 10 minutes or more to download.

Click on photos to see full screen

This report now goes to the Parks & Recreation Commission who will meet July 15 at 6:30 pm. at Hazel Park. I believe citizens will be allowed 3 minutes to voice opinions about the Como Park pool replacement plan.

The Parks & Recreation Commission then makes a recommendation to the Mayor of Saint Paul. The Mayor looks at it and judges whether it meets the Park’s Master Plan guidelines. The Mayor then sends the plan to the Saint Paul City Council who has the funding authority to pay for the project.

Where is the money coming from for the Como pool?

Money to pay for the Como Park pool replacement was to come from C.I.B. funds. My understanding is that Capital Improvement Budget funding is borrowed money. Bonds are sold to raise this money, then must be paid back from taxation.

Starting in early 2009, the CIB Committee began the process of developing the 2010 and 2011 capital budgets by reviewing project proposals submitted by City departments, district councils, and neighborhood organizations.

The CIB committee recommendation was to limit borrowing to about $20 million. Their rankings and how they were ranked is explained on the City of Saint Paul web site.

Did the Como Pool Replacement make the cut?

According to a PDF download titled “2010 – 2011 CIB Tentative Recommendations.pdf” on a District 10 webpage Como Pool Replacement was not included for funding
I think this complicated process is only to provide advice. I believe Mayor Coleman can choose to propose a budget differing from the CIB committee’s recommendations. Will he? That step is scheduled for Aug 5 or 12?

N.O.P.E. – (Neighbors Opposing Park Exploitation)

Several Como Park residents, including the two members on the Pool Design Task Force who voted “No” to the proposed plan, feel that the public needs to know what is being proposed and have the opportunity and the time to react. These quotes are from some e-mails:

*It appears that mega-development is being pushed with no direct public input opportunity to react to these plans.

*The Task Force process was flawed . . . No discussion was made of other sites and their merits (or lack thereof) . . . Como Park is featured out, struggling to deal with the features that already exist.

*Important questions related to the pool design remain unanswered. Chief among them are:

  • What is the impact on the overall park?
  • What is the impact on traffic in and around the park?
  • What happens if the future phases are delayed or not completed at all – what is the risk (to the park/neighborhood) associated with delays or denials?
  • Were other sites within the city considered – why Como Park?
  • In effect, can the park accommodate the increased traffic assoicated with the additional bathers who will use the new pool?

*I think it is VITAL that those interested in Como Park, the comoparkalliance etc. consider finding ways to:

  • have a more public process for developing an updated 2009 Park Master Plan.
  • have a presentation of projected plans in the Campus area for the next 5-10 yrs. so those plans may be integrated with the overall park plans.
  • find a way, as the Dist 10 Environment Committee did with the lake, for Como Park or at least the Parkland to be given an able steward.
Como Park Swimming Pool

Final Como pool design approved by task force

The Como Pool design task force voted to approve for final report preparation the refined schematic design that was presented Monday, April 20.

Overall site relationships

Project manager, Don Ganje, first discussed the overall site, the proposed street realignments, access, parking, trails, facility location with relation to Como Woodland, etc. Click on the thumbnail photos to see them larger. A high quality (HQ) version of the video is available by double clicking on the video to go to the You Tube site, then click the “HQ” and full screen icons (lower right corner).

Como Pool site plan
Como Pool site plan

Pool elements

The individual pool layouts, splash/wading pool, multi-use pool, lazy river+, were next shown by USAquatics / AKA consultants.

Deep Water
Deep Water
Pools & Lazy River
Pools & Lazy River
Shallow Water
Shallow Water

Buildings designs

Architectural renderings of the buildings and detailed floor plans were presented by USAquatics / AKA consultants.

Como Pool building
Como Pool building
floor plan
floor plan

Costs (broken down by elements) and bather loads, attendance, and income projections

Click on photos to see projected costs. The consultants also projected expenditures broken down for each component. The last photos show staff recommended bather loads and projected revenues. The video is of the consultants walk though of the projected costs broken down for each area.

Expenditure projections
Expenditure projections
Component Costs
Component Costs
Bather loads
Bather loads
Pool revenue

Questions and comments

Please use the comments area to ask questions or to voice your opinions. I will pass them on to the design team.

Como Park Meetings Shuttle bus

Como Park swimming pool design

The Como Park swimming pool replacement design process began with the the formation of a design task force made up of community members, city staff and external aquatic consultants.

The process to design a replacement for the Como Park swimming pool began Oct., 2008.

The design task force members brainstormed and voted on key concepts.

Project manager Don Ganje presented design concepts his team thought the group was asking for (4 pg PDF). The committee was told to voice their opinion, yes or no, as they went through these lists.

A 2 day design “charrette” was open for community input. Five design concepts were presented on day one. Based upon feedback and comments, two design concepts and 6 pool features were voted on during the second day.

Parking and traffic circulation was also addressed (Don Ganje presentation in video below).

Consultants from US Aquatics, Anthony Kell Architects, City Parks Design Staff, Lynn Waldorf, and others collaborated to come up with a draft schematic design which was presented at the March 26 meeting (video below). After comments the design was approved for further detailing.

Como Park Swimming Pool

Como Park Swimming Pool Redevelopment

Como Park swimming pool is closed

The City of Saint Paul Division of Parks and Recreation is planning a complete redevelopment of the Como Regional Park Pool and adjacent facilities located at Horton Avenue and Lexington Parkway in Como Regional Park, Saint Paul, Minnesota.

US Aquatics and Anthony Kell Architects will collaborate with the City Parks Design Staff & Planning Committee to design an aquatics facility “Master Plan” that Saint Paul Parks and Recreation and the Saint Paul community can support and be proud of.


The city wishes to develop a comprehensive design beyond just the Como Pool area which includes other adjacent proposed areas and uses:

Proposed Como Woodland Classroom
McMurray Field area
Vehicular circulation improvements and impacts for the entire study area


The overall project approach anticipates four (4) primary phases of work:

Phase I – Study area site analysis including traffic and circulation study, program development, preliminary design, and schematic design
Phase II – Design Development
Phase III – Construction Management

Phase I – October 2008 – March 2009


We currently have funding for phase I ($220,000) through Metro Parks but anticipate additional funding from 2010/11 CIB and Metro Parks.

Estimated Total Project Budget: $7.22 million

– Construction Budget: $5,921,220
– Design Engineering: $1,299,780

Planning Committee

The Como Pool Planning Committee will have a representative from each of the following groups.

Parks & Rec Comm
District 10 Communty Council
District 6 Community Council
Star Swim Club
Lap Swimmer
Lexington Pkwy Resident
Council Member Lee Helgen
Council Member Russ Stark
Municipal Athletics
Woodland Classroom
Youth Community – Regular User
Neighborhood Pool User

Click this link if you wish to fill out an application to be on the Como Pool Planning Committee

The Planning Committee recommendation goes to the Parks & Recreation Commission. The Parks & Recreation Commission then makes a recommendation to the Mayor of Saint Paul. The Mayor looks at it and judges whether it meets the Park’s Master Plan guidelines. The Mayor then sends the plan to the Saint Paul City Council who has the funding authority to pay for the project.

If all goes will ground breaking might happen in 2010.

The video below is from a public meeting presenting the Como Pool renovation process to the public. For more information, contact: City of St. Paul Park & Recreation Director, Bob Bierscheid, (

Como Park Swimming Pool Planning Committee from Art Oglesby on Vimeo.