Activity, kiddie pool upgrades planned at The Waterpark in Carmel


Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation is planning several renovations at The Waterpark in the coming years to keep pace with changing needs and technologies.

“The Next Big Splash Plan” will guide redevelopment of The Waterpark, which operates during the summer at 1195 Central Park Dr. W., over the next 15 to 20 years. Major improvements are planned for the kiddie and activity pools and include expanding the number of cabanas available to rent. The cost for all improvements is estimated to be $8.6 million, and CCPR officials are working with Clay Township and the City of Carmel to identify potential funding sources.

“One of the things when we first built The Waterpark and were advised by our consultants is that every three to five years, we should always provide something new, not necessarily to gain additional participation but to keep it fresh so people want to continue to go. That’s what’s important for us from a revenue standpoint,” said Michael Klitzing, CCPR director, during a presentation to the Carmel City Council at the council’s Dec. 5 meeting.

In the kiddie pool area, CCPR plans to remove the open water area and create a splash pad experience that’s different from the splash pads available in several public parks throughout Carmel. The changes would permit the kiddie pool area to be open without lifeguards, which is not currently possible. When staffing levels are short, the kiddie pool area is the first to close under current conditions, Klitzing said.

“When we’re looking at this (master) plan, we’re looking at opportunities where we can reduce the amount of lifeguards we need in the facility,” Klitzing said, noting that reaching full staffing levels at The Waterpark has been challenging of late.

Klitzing said CCPR is aiming to have the kiddie pool renovations complete in 3 to 6 years.

Renovations proposed in the activity pool area include developing a beach-like entrance and converting the lap pool into additional leisure space, as lap swimming is offered year-round in the adjacent Monon Community Center.

The new leisure space in the pool would include a swim channel, an area that encourages gathering and that Klitzing expects would be popular with pre-teens. The space would be available for water exercise classes offered outside of The Waterpark hours.

Activity pool renovations aren’t expected to occur for 10 or more years, Klitzing said.

The first visible upgrade will be adding 10 cabanas available to rent, as the shelters typically sell out during The Waterpark’s busiest days, Klitzing said. The new cabanas will be near the existing kiddie pool and are expected to be available for the 2023 season.