Plans for a Cedar Rapids aquatic center and waterpark appear to have been downsized some and moved closer to the core of the city.

The Cedar Bayou Aquatic Center and Waterpark was originally planned for the area near 66th Avenue and J St. SW in Cedar Rapids. Last summer, project leader Nick Ford said it would include a food court, 100-plus-room hotel, a lazy river, indoor/outdoor water park, and an indoor swimming pool. He told the Cedar Rapids Gazette at the time the indoor pool "... could handle anything short of Olympic trials."

This week has brought new artist renderings from Shive-Hattery Architecture-Engineering that show a project that's still huge in magnitude but with a totally new location. They also show the possibility of the complex being built on the east side of the Hawkeye Downs Speedway complex off 6th St SW.

An aerial view shows a 65,000 square foot indoor waterpark, a 100,000+ square foot hotel and outdoor waterpark, 1200 hard surface parking spots, RV parking, and a 140,000 square foot Natatorium. That's a fancy name for a building with a swimming pool.

If it does end up in this spot, the ease of access from Highway 30 and Interstate 80 would be definite pluses for this spot, something that was lacking with the previously-mentioned location. I'm also glad to see all the hard-surface parking that would be added and that an RV park would still be part of Hawkeye Downs. That's good for racers, race fans, and families who would come to the waterpark.

My biggest concern would be the roar of the race track on Friday nights or other race days. Unfairly or not, I visualize kids wearing noise silencing headphones in the outdoor waterpark. That's no good.

Take a look at the pictures below and let us know what you think of plans for Cedar Bayou Aquatic Center and Waterpark!

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