New Water Park Could Make A Splash In Jonesboro


The Earl Bell Community Center in Jonesboro is currently the only place people living here can cool off in the pool.

City Mayor Doug Formon says that could possibly change within the next few years and neighboring Paragould's water park could be the inspiration for a new aquatic center in Jonesboro.

"The city's just grown so much over the last couple of years that's it's time, at least we think that it's time, to have some type of aquatic center," said Formon.

It's been open for two years now, and since then, Paragould's aquatic center has gotten rave reviews.

Parks and Recreation Director Jason Wilkie says the Earl Bell pool is nearing the end of its life cycle and by 2009, it will be outdated.

The choice aldermen must make .... bring the existing pool up to code, or invest in a new water experience.

"There's been some people who've made comments to me that they'd like to see some type of aquatic center here like the one that Paragould has," said Wilkie. "More importantly, we did a study in 2002 that showed that Jonesboro citizens want an aquatic center."

Of course, in order to play, you've gotta pay.

How much will a watery wonderland cost?

"It could range from $4 million dollars on up," he said. "Really, it's unlimited what you could do."

Council members have until the first of next year to decide whether a feasability study should be conducted.

Brackett and Krennerich Architects of Jonesboro and the consulting firm of Counsilman-Hunsaker of St. Louis would be hired under a $45,000 contract to conduct the feasibility study. The council's Public Services Committee endorsed the proposal last week.

Questions or Comments? E-mail me at