“Over 40 years ago, community members came up with the bold vision building a swimming pool for Guttenberg families. The funds they raised would ultimately provide more than four decades of life-saving swimming lessons in our river town for hundreds of children, offer healthy summertime recreation, and be a signature attraction our city has taken pride in. Our pool has served us well. But today, it is at the end of its life,” say members of the Wave of the Future Committee in Guttenberg. “We now embark upon that same journey with a fresh vision for a new Guttenberg Municipal Swimming Pool.”
Fundraising efforts have begun for the $3.5 - 4 million pool replacement, which will be built in the same footprint as the current pool, retaining six 25-yard lap lanes and a separate 13-foot diving hopper. Base plans call for a wider, ADA compliant pool deck, a zero-depth entry area for families with young children, a single one-meter diving board, and a new bathhouse. The new energy-efficient bathhouse will include a concession area, a reception counter, male and female locker rooms with private showers, toilets, and ADA compliant fixtures, baby changing stations, and an attached mechanical room.
If fundraising continues to flourish, a bid alternate will allow for the addition of a large, curvy water slide visible from Highway 52 and plunge area as well as built-in shade structures to protect pool patrons from harmful rays.
A 2014 inventory of needed improvements showed repair costs up to $1.3 million. Repairs would have only addressed known problems with no guarantee the investment would have prevented further issues. The new pool, as proposed for construction in 2018 and opening in 2019, has an expected life of 50 years.
Committee members also researched the cost of an indoor pool and found the estimate for construction was over $7 million. Additional challenges would include year-round operating costs on a limited city budget, finding year-round life guards, and the preference of many patrons for an outdoor pool experience during the summer.
“All gifts of any size are vital to the success of this ambitious project. There are many ways you can help, and all donors will be recognized,” say organizers, suggesting in-kind donations of labor and materials, a legacy gift in the name of someone special, cash gifts, and gifts of livestock, grain, timber, or appreciated assets such as stocks or bonds.
Organizers envision the new pool as a place where grandparents, siblings, and friends make memories, a place where people of all abilities can feel safe and comfortable and children learn the skills necessary to safely and responsibly enjoy our neighboring river, and a place where outdoor exercise and health are celebrated by residents of all ages. For more on how you can help the cause, hop on over to CityOfGuttenberg.com.
Photo by author