CONWAY, Ark – The City of Conway is hoping to break ground on its first community center equipped with an outdoor aquatics center.

The City has called a special election for the proposed project on February 8, 2022.

“If you want to have a city that people want to live in and raise children these are some of the amenities that you have to have,” Conway Mayor Bart Castleberry said.

Castleberry says the project has been on the city’s list for years now. The community center is expected to house a full gym and outdoor aquatics center among other things.

“We’ll have walking tracks, we will have pickleball courts, and volleyball courts,” Castleberry said.

Melissa Troup lives in Conway. She says she is most excited about the competition-style pool.

Troup’s sons swim competitively. She says when they were in high school, they practiced at Hendricks College and UCA and often had to wait until other teams were done.

“They wouldn’t get out of the water until 9 p.m.,” Troup said.

Troup says the schedule made it difficult for her kids to keep up on schoolwork. She’s hoping the new community center will open up a space for more teams to practice earlier.

The entire project is expected to cost around $38 million. The City says if passed it will be paid for using bonds from the prepared food sales tax already in place.

“There’s a tremendous need and a tremendous want here for it. but as a city we also look at it economically,” Castleberry said.

Castleberry says the soccer field and competition-style pool will give the city the opportunity to host more tournaments and bring more people into the city.

“We like for folks to come spend their money in Conway,” Castleberry said.

Ultimately, he says it will be a space for the whole community.

The special election is scheduled for February 8, 2022.