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Surprise details fire station, pool project plans

Entire CIP wish list waiting for funding

Posted 5/10/23

All that’s stopping the city from fulfilling its entire wish list is funding, like all projects.

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Subscriber Exclusive

Surprise details fire station, pool project plans

Entire CIP wish list waiting for funding


The city of Surprise needs a new fire station and community pool.

It needs road improvements, more traffic signals and specialty facilities like a police substation.

All that’s stopping the city from fulfilling its entire wish list is funding, like all projects.

City officials and the City Council last year agreed on a CIP priority list, featuring 25 items, such as improvements to Cactus Road from Cotton Lane to Reems Road, the creation of Fire Station 309, along with a community pool, plus new traffic signals across the city.

In total, the projects are estimated to cost $267 million, money the city doesn’t just have sitting around.

City Finance Director Andrea Davis told the City Council on May 2 a general obligation bond, like the ones Surprise voters passed in 2017, would be needed to fund them all.

A police substation, new signals and other items such as Bell Road landscape and street lighting improvements and work on 163rd Avenue from Grand Avenue to Happy Valley Road are already funded. But items not in design or scheduled for construction this or next year include a 50-acre park, other citywide park improvements, a City Center parking garage and a ladder truck for Fire Station 304.

However, one project that has city officials excited is the new fire station and pool facility that is coming to Perryville and Cactus roads.

Parks and Recreation Director Holly Osborn gave more details to the City Council at its last work session about the joint project that will be built on 19 acres for about $69.4 million.

The pool will make up about half of that cost at $35 million, while the fire station is estimated to cost $18 million. Money has also been set aside for a park ($8.8 million) and road improvements ($7.6 million).

Of the total cost, $45.7 million of it will come from the General Fund, while the remainder is made up of developer impact fees.

Fire Station 309 is planned as a replica of Fire Station 308, the latest station the city opened at Cactus and Litchfield roads in late 2021. Osborn said the design has worked out for the Fire-Medical Department, so they wanted another one just like it.

“It’s not a 100% plug and play design, but it will be pretty much the same feel of it,” Osborn told the Council.

Osborn also updated the Council on the status of the 50-meter competitive and recreational pool the city will be building on 14 acres right next to the fire station.

The seven- to eight-foot deep heated competitive pool will feature eight 50-meter lanes for teams such as Ottawa-Arizona or 23 25-meter lanes for the high school level and below.

The diving pool will feature two 1-meter spring boards and six 25-yard lanes, which will allow the city to host a swim meet and diving competition simultaneously. The Goodyear YMCA is the only other facility with a 50-meter pool in the West Valley.

The hope for Surprise officials is to host meets for the local high schools, national swim clubs such as USA Swimming and collegiate meets.

The pool, which is on track for an opening sometime in 2025, will also be available for sports like water polo and features shaded spectator seating.

Planned amenities include a fire station-themed splash pad that will be open even when the pool isn’t, an event plaza where food trucks could be brought in for major events, a sizable ramada and a park.

Osborn said they’re hoping to add park amenities down the line such as basketball, volleyball and pickleball courts.

If Osborn gets her way in the budget, the pool itself could have up to six slides, with each one getting progressively higher.

“I think what we’re building or what we’ve come up with from a design standpoint is really unique and something I haven’t seen besides in a water park but we’re not going to charge water park prices,” Osborn told the City Council.

The city is planning a “slope” area, where kids can climb hills, made from the dirt that will be dug up to construct the pools.

The recreational pool will feature a walk-in channel for seniors and programming such as water aerobics.

There’s also another goal in mind, Osborn said.

“To give as many swim lessons as we can would be the mission of this pool,” Osborn said.

The city currently operates two other pools: the Surprise Aquatic Center at 15831 N. Bullard Ave. in the City Center and the Hollyhock Pool at 15808 N. Hollyhock St. in the Original Town Site.

In other capital projects across the city, traffic signals continue to be placed across Surprise. Davis said 23 signals were under design or scheduled for construction in this and next fiscal years. Those include ones at Bell Road and Bell Pointe, Cactus Road and Cotton Lane and Pat Tillman Boulevard and 163rd Avenue.

Jason Stone can be reached at We’d like to invite our readers to submit their civil comments, pro or con, on this issue. Email