Petition to save Legion Pool in De Pere

DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) - A group of residents in De Pere are urging local leaders to rethink plans for an aquatic center in that community. They told Local 5's Kris Schuller the proposal is too expensive and could potentially impact the safety of their children.

During summer months Kelley Quakkelaar and Betsy Hornseth love to spend time with their kids swimming at Legion Pool.

“We love it there, we absolutely love it,” said Hornseth. 

“It helps our sense of community on the east side here,” said Quakkelaar.

And now these friends have started an effort to make sure that never changes.

“We want to save it, we don't want it to go away because we use it,” Quakkelaar said.

The two have started an online petition asking the city to update the pools at Legion and VFW parks for $1.2 million instead of closing Legion, replacing it with a splash pad and converting VFW Pool into a new aquatic center for roughly $3.5 million.

“At the end of the day -  it's less expensive to fix the two pools,” Kelley said.

“Any parent in their right mind wouldn't send a child over a bridge and say ‘Hey I'll see you later this afternoon,’ just be careful crossing at the roundabout in De Pere,” said Hornseth.

“I completely understand where they are coming from,” said Marty Kosobucki, director of Parks and Recreation in De Pere.

Kosobucki says it has been a year since the city approved the plan - which will include ways for kids to get to VFW Park.

“We do want to create a way for people to get to those pools safely and that was included talk about our bus routes,” he said. 

And the parks director knows users become attached to their neighborhood pools.

“That was tough for our Park Board and City Council to navigate through,” Kosobucki added. 

But after three years of study on these aging facilities – he said a choice had to be made.

 "A facility hasn’t been built yet, but a decision has been made,” Kosobucki said.

But with this online petition – Kelley Quakkelaar holds out hope that public opinion can save Legion Pool.

“We don’t want it to go away because we use it,” Quakkelaar said.

Three concepts for that proposed aquatic center will be unveiled later this month.

You can find a link to that petition here.


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