First Look: Conceptual Design for New Heather Farm Aquatics & Events CenterFeb 08, 2023 11:44AM ● By Harper Klein
When a newly combined Clarke Memorial Swim Center and Heather Farm Park Community Center is completed in 2027, the single story, 25,000-SQF facility will boast two pools, a central community living
room, outdoor patios/terraces, a continuous walkway around the pond, along
with other sustainable features and amenities.
In its current form, the 4.7-acre site plan adds close to 10,000-SQF to the swim and community centers, increasing capacity for social, business, and aquatic events. Officials say three existing lots at Heather Farm will adequately serve future parking demands.
In 2018, a “Your Parks, Your Future” advisory committee was tasked with developing plans to ensure facilities, parks, and programs met the needs of the community. Phase One identified city buildings, fields, and pools that required replacement.
“Most of our infrastructure is in pretty good shape,” said City Manager Dan Buckshi, “but the Clarke Memorial Swim Center and Heather Farm Park Community Center, originally built in 1972, are at the end of their useful life."
Altogether, construction of the new facility, demolition of the old swim center, plus other renovations will rack up an estimated $77 million price tag. Funding for the project will come primarily from Measure O sales tax revenue, as well as a $3 million contribution from the Walnut Creek Aquatics Foundation, who also negotiated naming rights.
Walnut Creek voters approved Measure O, a ten-year, half-cent sales tax measure in November 2022. The new 9.25% tax rate, which goes into effect April 1, 2023, is projected to generate over $140 million over the next decade to fund everything from new infrastructure and community facilities to public safety and sustainability initiatives.
At their Tuesday, February 7, 2023 meeting, the Walnut Creek City Council voted to move forward with the project.