With construction for a new city pool now slated for 2020, city aldermen are touring the existing pool to see for themselves the condition of the facility and the challenges the Parks and Recreation Department face in repairing it.
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Parks and Recreation Director Justin Casperson led the tour of the facility last Wednesday for aldermen Jason Zaleski, Nick Poeschel, and Steve MacSwain. Other time slots were available for other aldermen to have a chance to tour the pool, which dates to 1934 and has been showing its age. One of the biggest problems is heaving concrete.
“We’ve been doing patching every year, trying to keep it from heaving up, but obviously Mother Nature is taking its toll on the building,” said Casperson during the tour.
The building by Hefko Pool was added in 1974, and the only improvements since have been in maintenance, such as the pumps and filtration system. “The concrete mortar is coming out and falling, with some pieces coming down. We try to be proactive and take any loose pieces out,” he said.
Floor heaving in the bathrooms have led to doors not opening or closing. The current changing rooms are another concern and mark changing standards in modern facilities. “There’s not really much privacy,” said Casperson. “Today’s facilities have a lot of individual changing rooms or stalls.”
He noted that kids want activities in the pool area, such as slides, diving boards, climbing walls, lily pads, and lazy rivers. There is currently just one diving board for the pool.
In the pool area, the concrete in the pool base started to pop off and flake, requiring the services of a mason to fix. “What you’re seeing is a typical spring,” said Ben Steinbach, Parks & Rec Supervisor. “We do patching in the pool area and try to fix it with some paint. You can see the issues that keep on mounting. It’s getting more and more every year.”
Casperson said the mechanical room is one of the better facilities but is showing signs of age with rust and equipment that is falling apart. The pans underneath the four heaters are rusted through and need to be replaced.
When it comes to having a pool in Marshfield, Casperson thinks it’s critical both for quality of life and attracting new businesses and families to the area. “We want to attract businesses and employees. That’s our biggest challenge,” he said. “Without the pool, I don’t know what we’d tell them. We have a zoo, but we have no place to take kids to go swimming, and we have a lot of residents who want it. It’s probably the number one requested facility in our parks system since I got here three years ago.”
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With no body of water to fall back on, Marshfield relies on the pool to get outdoors during the brief warm weather season. “Marshfield, like most of Wisconsin, is indoors a good 6-7 months out of the year,” he said. “We want to get outside in the summer and enjoy the outside as much as we can.”
Alderman Nick Poeschel agreed that the pool is important for quality of life. “We do have a short summer season with no place to enjoy those outdoor activities of swimming,” he said. “This provides an opportunity for people in the community to enjoy that and enjoy the outdoor setting. It’s a big difference between coming to a pool outdoors rather than going to the high school or the YMCA to cool off in the summertime.”
The pool is also easily accessible to residents. “There are people who can’t afford to travel to Wisconsin Dells or even to Weston to cool off on a hot day, and this provides them that opportunity,” Poeschel concluded.
Hefko Pool Hours:
- Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday – 1:00 to 6:45 p.m.
- Tuesdays & Thursdays – 1:00 to 7:45 p.m.
- FREE SWIM: Monday-Saturday – 11:00 to 11:45 a.m.
Daily Rates (Season Passes Available):
- $2 Youth Resident, Ages 3-17
- $2.50 Adult Resident
- $3 Youth Non-Resident
- $3.50 Adult Non-Resident