With some work already underway, a groundbreaking took place for the new Wauseon pool Monday morning at Reighard Park.
It will be the culmination of a planning process that saw delays over cost and debates about a suitable location.
The project’s general contractor, Rupp-Rosebrock of Liberty Center, will excavate the site for the pool contractor, the Astro Pool Company of Mansfield, Ohio, then renovate the existing bath house. The city has mandated completion for a Memorial Day 2018 opening.
The $1.4 million project will include a pool with a stainless steel sidewall rather than concrete, an 82-by-45 foot six-lane racing and diving area, and a shallower 60-by-32 foot spiral slide area. They will connect to a 50-by-40 foot zero entrance walk-in area for children that includes a slide.
A bath house for the original city pool built in 1941 has been gutted for renovation. It will feature all-accessible restrooms, showers, a locker area, and benches and grab bars compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act.
A drive to replace the city’s original pool, which closed in 2008 due to its deteriorated condition, was buoyed when New Pool 4 Wauseon, a grass-roots effort, raised funds to cover an initial engineering study. In 2015, voters approved a five-year, 2.6-mill Parks and Recreation levy for the project which generates $290,483 annually.
But the task of placing the new pool became daunting when both City Council and community members argued over two preferred locations, Dorothy B. Biddle Park and the original pool site at Reighard Park. After a prolonged debate that included pool size and the risk of children crossing busy roadways to attend, the city issued a public survey to ultimately determine the location.