Online petition opposes De Pere pool closure

De Pere, Wis. - De Pere residents want officials to reconsider a plan for two community swimming pools.

Some residents have started a petition in opposition to the plan to replace De Pere's two pools with one aquatic center. 

The vote to close Legion pool in east De Pere and build a new aquatic center at VFW Park in west De Pere has some residents upset.

The plan right now is to eliminate the pools at Legion and VFW parks and build a new aquatic center at VFW Park.

Residents who have opposed the plan have cited the cost.  They said it would cost less to renovate the existing pools than the cost to build a new aquatic center.  

Parks, Recreation & Forestry Director Marty Kosobucki agreed, but said the city decided it's a better investment to build a new center than to repair the older pools.

Residents said the Legion park pool is convenient and within walking distance for some.  

"It sounds silly to be so passionate about a pool, but it's more than that," Betsy Hornseth.  

They started an online petition to try to save the Legion pool.

"There are people saying 'my kids grew up in that pool', or, 'I take my grandkids there,' " said De Pere resident Kelley Quakkelaar.  " 'My kids don't go to the pool anymore, but I remember how much they loved it'."
 
Kosobucki said right now there's no timeline for closing either pool.  The city is in the design phase for the aquatic center.

There is an information session on Thursday, December 21 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at De Pere City Hall.

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