KCBD Investigates: Timelines and price tags for Adventure Park and Lubbock Aquarium

KCBD Investigates: Timelines and price tags for Adventure Park and Lubbock Aquarium
Plans for Adventure Park and the Lubbock Aquarium

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Adventure Park was originally planned to open in 2017, but engineering and construction issues have pushed that back. The KCBD Investigates Team spoke with the developers to get an update on these highly-anticipated facilities.

For two years, rumors have circulated about when Adventure Park will open and what it will have to offer.

The idea for Adventure Park came after a February 2016 fire destroyed the abandoned Putt Putt location near the Marsha Sharp Freeway and Slide Road. A month after that fire, a Lubbock couple announced that they wanted to build Adventure Park in its place.

Shortly after that announcement, the idea for a neighboring Lubbock Aquarium surfaced.

Kai Evans is overseeing both projects. Evans serves as the Director of Operations for Adventure Park and President of the Board for the Lubbock Aquarium.

"My husband grew up in entertainment. His family has owned entertainment in Lubbock his entire life, I think it's 67 years old, they've owned the Roll Arena. He grew up doing that and that's always been close to his heart," Evans said.

Evans said she and her husband want to continue the family tradition of entertainment and the 22-acre property is perfect for the indoor/outdoor facility they want to build.

Evans said Adventure Park will have rock climbing, a spin zone, which is an updated form of bumper cars, an arcade, a restaurant, a laser maze, two miniature golf courses, Bumper Bayou, a zip line, a ropes course, go-karts and more.

"Our ropes course is 45 elements and six stories tall," Evans said.

The Evans launched the Adventure Park Facebook page on March 28, 2016.

On May 5, 2016, they made the announcement that they planned to open by winter 2017.

A few months later, demolition began as KCBD reported on the groundbreaking for Adventure Park.

In December 2016, they posted a video to Facebook of the ropes course structure being moved onto the property.

Fast forward to May 2018, and the project is still far from complete.

"It's been a process," Evans said.

"There's things that you don't consider in a project this size. There's things that we didn't consider in our consultants and feasibility," Evans said. "The past year, has been a lot of kind of back and forth with the city and working with our engineers."

Evans said they work with six engineering firms and had to provide the City of Lubbock with additional documentation for the zip line and ropes course attractions.

Evans said they stopped construction until they could finalize the permits for the major attractions.

She said the city just approved the final permits, so construction crews should re-mobilize and begin work again soon.

"We would like to be open late this year. We have had a really dry winter, so if we get into really rainy spring/summer of course that is going to bring about delays. Until the building is up, at least the structural part of it, we are really not giving any timelines because there are too many inconsistencies with weather," Evans said.

As Evans continues to work on Adventure Park, she is also serving her second term as President of the Board for the Lubbock Aquarium.

Three acres of land were donated to the aquarium project. That land is located right next to Adventure Park.

"When we closed on Adventure Park, that is when the land was donated to the Aquarium. I think because of that, there is some confusion that they are combined and because we are part of both, there is also some confusion there," Evans said.

Evans said unlike Adventure Park, the Lubbock Aquarium is a non-profit, community-funded project.

"We have spent around $26,000 for a feasibility that all came from community funds," Evans said.

Evans said the donations they have received, including the value of the donated land, total about $700,000.

"Our project to completion will be $20 million to $22 million," Evans said.

"We are looking at a two to three-year development. We really expect to have that happen in the next couple of years and then construction would start at that point. But it really depends on grant money. As we raise funds, that is when we make commitments," Evans said.

Evans said they estimate a 30,0000 to 35,000 square foot aquarium with a portion of the attractions possibly outside to incorporate nature walks around the playa lakes.

"We hope to by this month have an architect and firm hired," Evans said.

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