Appleton's new Erb Pool opens

A view of the newly renovated Erb Park in Appleton from SKYFOX, July 12, 2017. (WLUK image)

APPLETON (WLUK) -- The newly renovated Erb Park in Appleton is now open.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Wednesday morning.

The new swimming facility includes a 50-meter pool, splash pad and water slides. Other renovations to the park include new tennis and basketball courts, a sledding hill, ice skating and playground area, and an expanded parking lot. The city budgeted $10.5 million for the project.

In 2015, city workers discovered that the then-36-year-old pool at Erb Park was losing water. The pool closed for good last August, and construction had been ongoing since.

There was plenty of fun to be had at Wednesday's official opening of the new and improved Erb Pool.

Logan Parsons from Appleton said, "It's really cool, I think they did a great job."

Jill Parsons from Appleton said, "I love it, it's amazing. It's so big."

The pool area has a 50 meter swimming pool with diving boards, and basketball hoops.

Not to mention a family pool with splash pads, and brand new water slides.

Rose Barclay from Appleton said, "It goes a lot faster than the ones I've been on."

But the journey for the pool wasn't without challenges.

It was nearly two years ago when Appleton's Mayor announced plans to replace the old, dated pool with splash pads.

"I was wrong," Mayor Tim Hanna said.

But, overall, the community was not on board.

Hanna said, "I just underestimated the impact that this facility has on this neighborhood, and they came forward and they proved me wrong."

Jill Parsons said, "The neighborhood and the community banded together, and that's a positive thing that we made a change for our community."

The 50 meter pool is one of the main things the community was pushing for. But it's just one of many improvements to the overall Erb Park.

Hanna said, "It's more than just the pool. There's a new pavilion in the park, a new parking lot, new tennis courts, a beautiful new playground. It's like a brand new park."

Erb Park and Pool... rooted in tradition... but now on the cutting edge.

Dean Gazza, Appleton's Parks & Recreation Director, said, "I think we're the best aquatic center now in the area, and we're going to get a lot of visitors in Appleton because of it."

Parsons said, "It's really a beautiful facility. This is where my kids learned to swim."

Many who came out to celebrate the new pool Wednesday... planning to spend many more fun days here in the future.

The pool will be open until August 25th.

The rest of the park will remain open year-round... including the sled hill for the winter.

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