De Pere parks board OKs VFW aquatic center design
By Lee Reinsch
DE PERE – If the De Pere Common Council gives the nod, designs for the VFW Park aquatic facility will go forward, with a possible groundbreaking by the end of summer.
The City of De Pere Board of Park Commissioners voted to submit the designs to the Common Council and recommend board approval.
Two changes were made since the last iteration of the design was presented to the public.
The first is shifting the spot for a veterans memorial and flag pole from the entrance of the VFW pool facility to the park’s main entrance to maximize visibility.
“The pool season is only about two months, so you’d have just two months of traffic going by the memorial,” said Marty Kosobucki, De Pere’s director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry, at the most recent park board meeting May 16.
The second change is removing a low diving board that was originally included in the plan.
Design firm GRAEF estimates the facility will cost a little under $7.2 million.
That cost includes construction, fixtures and equipment and demolition of the current VFW pool facility plus other costs, but it does not include operations.
The park board voted to recommend the Common Council approve the budget suggested by the design firm.
If all goes according to plan, demolition could start in early June, Kosobucki said.
One delay in demolition scheduling happened already when a city tornado siren located at the VFW park bath house was discovered.
The bath house can’t be demolished until the siren is disconnected, Kosobucki said.
Features the aquatic facility at VFW Park is slated to have include:
• Two diving boards (one meter and three meters).
• A pool with six lap lanes.
• A separate pool for toddlers plus a child activity area.
• A shaded lounge or seating area.
• A climbing wall.
• A body slide and drop slide.
• A water walk.
The bath house will include locker rooms, restrooms, a family changing area and family restroom, individual showers, a concession wing, manager’s office/first aid area, staff office, foyer and security lighting.
Expenses for the aquatic facility include: $1.4 million for the lap pool, $750,000 for two slides, $1.4 million for the bath house, $664,000 for site development, $396,000 for the separate toddler pool, $75,000 for the two diving boards, $76,000 for patio furniture, shade structures, trash cans and trellises, $106,533 to demolish the current pool, bath house and mechanical building; and $26,000 for a robotic vacuum cleaner.
The separate pool for toddlers operates with its own filtration system separate from the main pool, so in the event of bathroom accidents, only one pool has to be drained and cleaned, and it won’t affect the main pool.
A few hoops still need to be jumped through before the VFW pool project can go forward.
“Realistically, we’re looking at groundbreaking in August or September,” Kosobucki said.
As for the Legion Park aquatic center, designs weren’t ready yet, but they should be available for public inspection at a parks meeting in June.
“So come one, come all,” Alderman Dean Raasch said.