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Lenexa’s plan to close Ad Astra pool draws petition effort from residents

LENEXA, Kan. -- A new effort is underway to save a community pool in Lenexa.

Right now, the city is planning to close Ad Astra pool, near Maurer Road and 83rd Street. Ad Astra pool is a staple of its Lenexa neighborhood. It's part of the reason Marie Riley and her family moved to the area.

"We saw the pool was right down the street. I knew the kids would be able walk down there," Riley said.

"I like to go hang out with friends there a lot," said her daughter, Addison Riley.

But after this summer, Lenexa is planning to close the neighborhood pool.

"Wait, what? We love that pool. Why are you taking this away from our community?" Marie Riley said.

The city said Ad Astra pool was built on fill dirt. Costly foundation repairs, pipe and drain work have already been done.

It's now Lenexa's most expensive pool to maintain.

"Every year we have to come in and mud-jack about two-thirds of the deck around the pool just because of settling issues," said Logan Wagler, Lenexa deputy director of parks and recreation.

Neighbors are still hoping Ad Astra can be saved.

They started an online petition, which has quickly gained nearly 1,400 signatures. They also have concerns about other proposals the city might consider, including turning the next closest pool, Indian Trails, into a spray pad and building a water park elsewhere.

"I just want the teenagers, the tweens, middle-age kids to have a safe place they can meet up with their friends. I just don`t see a splash park fulfilling that need. It only caters to a small percent of the population," Riley said.

She's also convinced the city could close Ad Astra for a season and make the necessary investments to upgrade the facility, improvements that could help bolster the pool's attendance numbers.

Lenexa said right now, it maintains more water per resident than any other city in the metro. It's hoping by closing Ad Astra, it will open up new ways to better serve everyone.

"We want to continue to offer some kind of recreation amenity to them and what our hope is, is to come back with something that's even better to better serve this neighborhood, the community and really the entire city," Wagler said.

The city said it welcomes public input during this process. While it appears committed to closing Ad Astra, other options for the city's water recreation future, and how to fund them, are still very much up for discussion.

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