DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) An aquatic center, five years in the making, opens in a matter of weeks in De Pere. Local 5 visited the center to learn what awaits swimmers this summer.
On the westside of De Pere lots of activity at VFW Park where the VFW Aquatic Center is nearly built, ready to open in a matter of weeks.
“It’s new, it’s exciting and as we get closer to the day, I’m more and more confident that we’re going to be very, very, successful,” said recreation supervisor John McDonald from De Pere’s parks department.
This center is 6,500 square feet in size, built on the footprint of the former VFW pool, demolished to make way for a facility that McDonald describes as one of a kind.
“We have slides, we have a lily pad water walkway, an activity area, a six-lap lane pool. There’s a slide, two body slides, there is a drop slide, we still have our diving boards. That was really key that they wanted,” said McDonald.
This aquatic facility carries a price tag of over $7 million. A project approved by the voters here in 2018 who gave it the go ahead.
“The Common Council decided it should go to referendum regarding a project of this size and scope, the residents approved to fund this project and we’re very excited,” said De Pere Mayor James Boyd.
McDonald says the center is designed off input from the community, shared in surveys during the process.
“We want more deck space, we want a place to sit down, we want a place to lounge out and that’s what we have in this facility,” said McDonald.
And Lynne and Jeff Reihbandt are eager for its opening and suspect many other people feel the same.
“I think it’s going to be exciting for the community,” said Lynne Reihbandt.
“Attracts people from many areas, not only De Pere but the surrounding communities come to something like that,” said Jeff Reihbandt.
“No one has ever experienced this type of facility in the city, so we’re excited to see what that offers,” McDonald said.
“This is exciting for De Pere and the residents,” Boyd added.
Grand opening is set for June 12th. During the pandemic pool capacity will remain at 50 percent or 142 people.