Garden Rapids at the Big Pool

Garden City, KS
Construction Cost: Total Project Cost - $14.6M & Total Aquatic Cost - $10M
Area / Square Feet: 5 Acres
Occupancy Date: May 2021

History runs deep at “The Big Pool,” with the initial pool being hand-dug in 1921 and the 1930s construction of the bathhouse being part of a WPA project. As the “World’s Largest Outdoor Concrete Municipal Swimming Pool,” Garden City’s pool was larger than a football field.

The Big Pool was truly one-of-a-kind. On various occasions, elephants from the neighboring zoo in Finnup Park played and swam in the pool, and boats pulled water skiers across the immense water surface. 

After nearly 100 years of use and despite many repairs, the Big Pool was losing more than 200,000 gallons of water daily. The design team met with residents at The Big Pool and asked them what they loved about the current pool and what they hoped to see in the new facility. The community highlighted interests in three key areas: a 50-meter competition pool featuring the nation’s first SlipStream standup waterslide and two of the first municipally-owned FlyTyme launch slides, alongside other body and tube slides; a leisure pool with a large lazy river and interactive play structure; and a separate toddler wading pool and splash ground.

The new facility has been well-received. Average weekday park attendance has hit 900 visitors, while average weekend attendance stands at 1,200 visitors.





  • 50-meter competition pool
  • Standup water slide
  • Two launch slides 
  • Leisure pool
  • Lazy river 
  • Splash pad
  • Play structure 
  • Wading pool


Chemical Control Systems: BECS Technology Inc.

Scoreboard/Timing Systems: Colorado Time Systems

Lane Markers: Competitor Swim

Filtration Systems, UV Disinfection: Neptune Benson / Evoqua

Gutters: Paddock Pool Equipment Co.

ADA Lifts, Ladders/Grab Bars, Starting Blocks: S.R.Smith