Project Updates: City Pool and Wildwood Zoo Cougar Exhibit/Welcome Center

Two major community projects continue to develop.

At the Tuesday Common Council meeting on July 10, a proposal was approved to allow the Sweeney Group to conduct a feasibility study into a capital campaign for a Community Outdoor Aquatic Center to replace Hefko Pool. The company will work with the pool’s fundraising group to study the feasibility of a capital campaign.

The Sweeney Group will determine whether there are enough individuals and businesses who would make a private donation to the pool for the project to commence. Ideally, the capital campaign would kick off this year and with fundraising completed within one year.

Community members who are interested in helping fundraise are welcome to contact the Parks & Recreation Department.

Fundraising is underway for the new Cougar Exhibit and Wildwood Zoo Welcome Center with ADA compliant restrooms. The project cost for the building and exhibit is $500,000 with an additional $200,000 for an educational water display inside for kids and adults alike. Fundraising is halfway completed for both elements.

“One of the things we thought about is, how can we get more people down to the the zoo? How can we still make it a destination for not only residents in the community, but guests? We thought a water display with an educational outreach would be a great addition,” said Parks & Recreation director Justin Casperson during Thursday’s committee meeting.

Besides being ten times larger than the current cougar exhibit, the project will feature more natural surfaces and an animal containment area inside the Welcome Center where visitors will be able to view the animals inside their internal enclosure.

Funding for the project is through the Marshfield Area Community Foundation. Fundraising is expected to be completed by September 1, October 1 at the latest, with a grand opening in late summer or early fall, 2019.

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