De Pere residents weigh in on aquatic center options

A rendering of one of the three options for a new aquatic center in De Pere. (Photo credit: City of De Pere)

DE PERE (WLUK) -- There are three options for De Pere's new aquatic center: one with all the bells and whistles and two scaled-back versions.

“We want to find out from our community what they like, what they don't like, then start being cost effective on how we handle it,” said Marty Kosobucki, Parks, Recreation and Forestry Director for De Pere.

“For me, I'm just worried that the options we have here, I don't know, something I would bring my kids to every once in a while, but I wouldn't bring them as often as I do to our current pool,” said Adrianne Burns of De Pere.

Burns’ current neighborhood pool is at VFW Park, which is planned to be replaced with the new aquatic center. The current plan also calls for the elimination of east De Pere's neighborhood pool at Legion Park. However, residents are pushing the city to find a way to repair and keep open Legion Pool.

“As a parent, I would not send my kids just biking over the bridge on their own,” said Burns. “It is a little sad for me to see if things continue on the path that they are to see us lose one of these neighborhood pools.”

“We have direction from the city council on what we're supposed to do,” said Kosobucki. “Until we're told otherwise, we need to follow that direction from the city council.”

There isn't a timeline for when a final concept will be chosen. There also isn't a plan for how a new aquatic center will be paid for.

“Is it going to be a combination of fundraising and bonding? All bonding? That is a decision the city council has to make,” said Kosobucki.

That decision is expected to be made once a price tag is figured out, which early projections have anywhere between $4 million and $9 million.

The city council is expected to hear a proposal at its next meeting to build a scaled-back aquatic center, and use the money not spent to save Legion Pool.

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