First public forum set for Monday on De Pere pools design

DE PERE, Wis. (WBAY) -- The New Year marks the beginning of a long journey for Legion and VFW pools in De Pere.

Both pools will be rebuilt thanks to a referendum passed by voters in November that may add up to $900,000 per year to the Tax Levy to construct two new aquatic facilities.

Monday will be the first opportunity for the public to weigh in on what they would like to see at each facility.

The public input session will be held in the De Pere Community Center’s lower level at 6 p.m. Monday.

“Everyone said they would like a lot of shade around the pool, new locker rooms, new building facility and maybe a place for concessions or a place we can picnic,” said Katie Carviou, a co-leader of the “Save De Pere Pools” group.

The group campaigned this last year to save the two pools in De Pere after there was talk of getting rid of one pool and having just one aquatic facility for the whole city.

People who cannot make it to the forum can fill out an online survey until January 14, which will be given equal consideration by city leaders.

“Once we get our public input forum done, once we get our online survey done, we’ll compile all that information and the Park Board will start ranking different amenities and feature of pool facilities and we’ll start the process with our consultant to start designing options,” said Marty Kosobucki, Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry for the city.

VFW pool will not be open this year due to structural damage which has left the pool in disrepair.

It’s set to be raised pending approval of funding by the city council.

“We don’t want to shut both pools down right away. So, our intent would be to keep Legion pool up and running until VFW pool is constructed and running, then we would shut Legion down and work on constructing Legion,” said Kosobucki.

Realistically, city leaders say VFW pool is expected to be constructed by 2021, but would like to see it done by next year.

Together, more than 26,000 people used VFW and Legion Park pools in 2017.

The parks board has considered reaching out to surrounding communities for their input on the process.

“We recognize our pools are more of a regional attraction it’s not just strictly city of De Pere residents. One of the options that we have to consider is what can the surrounding communities do at the same time to help us out with that,” said Alderman Larry Lueck.

It has been 30 years since any upgrades have been done to either pool facility.