SWIM 512 Engagement (Phase II)

In April 2015, Austin City Council suggested the Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) initiate a focused community engagement effort to assess residents' desires related to aquatic improvements and programming.  As such, PARD launched an initiative solely dedicated to community engagement.  The purpose of this project was to gather community feedback and ensure Austinites were informed of both the current and future plans for the City's aquatic facilities.  PARD commissioned Cortez Consulting Services to devise a comprehensive public plan and to lead the 2015 Aquatic Amenities and Programming Community Engagement effort, launching Phase II.

Goals of Phase II

  1. Gather feedback and listen to participants' concerns
  2. Identify aquatic improvements and programs Austinites desire
  3. Educate the community on the current condition of our public pools
  4. Inform the community of the Aquatic Master Plan Process (Phase III)

Phase II Approach

Over a five-month period, SWIM 512 engaged with over 1,000 residents (adults and youth).  Outreach took place in a variety of communities, including areas of Austin that are not centrally located. 

On-Site Community Conversations

Community Conversations occurred during the week of August 17-22, 2015.  The goal of these conversations was to conduct a brief assessment and capture the experiences of visitors.  These conversations occurred at 3 municipal pools and 8 neighborhood pools.

  • Mabel Davis Pool- August 19, 2015
  • Garrison Pool- August 17, 2015
  • Northwest Pool- August 19, 2015
  • Brentwood Neighborhood Pool- August 21, 2015
  • Dick Nichols Neighborhood Pool- August 18, 2015
  • Dittmar Neighborhood Pool- August 17, 2015
  • Dottie Jordan Neighborhood Pool- August 22, 2015
  • Dove Springs Neighborhood Pool- August 18, 2015
  • Givens Neighborhood Pool- August 22, 2015
  • Martin Neighborhood Pool- August 21, 2015
  • Patterson Neighborhood Pool- August 20, 2015

Neighborhood Talks

Another public engagement strategy used to gather input from residents was to attend monthly neighborhood association and organization meetings.  Neighborhood Talks occurred from September 1- October 31, 2015.  A total of 14 meetings were conducted engaging 458 individuals.

Community Focus Groups

Community focus groups were held during the month of November 2015.  The purpose of these sessions was to have a more intimate conversation with residents about the City's pools.  The following focus group meeting were conducted with a total of 25 participants:

  • Community Engagement Center (East)- November 2, 2015
  • Dittmar Recreation Center (South)- November 3,2015
  • Turner-Roberts Recreation Center (East)- November 4,2015
  • Northwest Recreation Center (Northwest)- November 7, 2015
  • Carver Museum and Cultural Center (East/Central)- November 12, 2015
  • Gus Garcia Recreation Center (Northeast)- November 23, 2015

What we learned

  • Keep pools open and affordable
  • Increase hours and swim season
  • Improve bathhouse, shade, and seating

View the SWIM 512 Engagement Final Report