Finding a happy place
Committee looks at design possibilities for future Hefko Pool replacement
By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD — Through Franklin Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression, funds became available for the construction of highways, playgrounds, hospitals, schools, and airports around the country.
Marshfield Mayor Theodore Hefko and his administration took advantage of the opportunity and secured funds to build a city pool. The pool was completed in the spring of 1934 but did not open until August due to a pending drought.
The now 82-year-old structure presently sits in a declining state. Hefko Pool has not undergone any significant updates since 1974.
This past summer city leaders took a look at the outdoor aquatic center’s future.
“In July the council asked me to form a committee of individuals from the community and come up with a cost estimate and a conceptual design for a potential pool to replace Hefko Pool,” said Marshfield Parks & Recreation Director Justin Casperson.
“The pool is old, so what are we going to do moving forward as a community? We know its days are numbered,” Casperson said.
The 13-member Marshfield Pool Study Committee held its first meeting in July at Hefko Pool, touring the facility and establishing goals and objectives.
The committee also put out a request for proposal for design and architectural engineering services.
“We hired Ayres Associates,” said Casperson. “They are primarily out of the Madison area. We hired them for $21,000.
“The next step was to tour some communities where pools were recently built, pools within our price range. We went to Merrill. … We went Wausau. … We also visited Weston.
“The group went around and talked about all of the pros, all of the cons, what they liked, and what they didn’t like. We also met with the staff and the supervisors of each of those facilities, and they told us what they liked, what they didn’t like, and then what they would do over.
“In that process we were able to decide what we would like to see in our new facility, if we were to build one.”
On Oct. 13 the committee reviewed the first concept designs by Ayres.
“They took our information and gave us three and a half designs,” said Casperson.
Concept 1 included 141 parking stalls with drop-off area on the south side of the pool, using the existing entry, a single 13,750-square-foot pool with zero depth entry and six lap lanes, a play structure, two slide structures, two diving boards, a climbing wall, and a shade structure.
Concept 2 incorporated most of the amenities of Concept 1 and used an 11,320-square-foot pool with a separate 2,700-square-foot lap pool, a separate mechanics building, and a rentable shelter but no climbing wall. In addition, the parking lot would be situated on the north side using the existing exit.
Concept 3 used the features of Concept 1; the parking lot has 164 stalls with a drop-off area, and entry and exit points are off of Central Avenue; and there are three separate pools: a 5,676-square-foot zero entry pool, a 2,700-square-foot lap pool, and a 2,300-square-foot diving pool.
Concept 3B is the same as Concept 3 in its entirety with the exception of access to the parking lot coming from Roddis Avenue.
“The group talked quite a bit and decided that we like Concept 2 and Concept 1 and will kind of do a combination,” added Casperson. “We met with the designer from Ayres. He took our two concepts and our features, and he is going back to the table to redesign a new one for the committee’s evaluation.”
Casperson said, “We also know that Marshfield Utilities wants to expand to the north, which is currently where the pool is located. We’ve been asked to come up with design and cost estimates for a new pool. We are currently using the existing location as our template.
“If the council or the community wants to relocate the pool to a different area of the community, we can explore those other locations, but right now this committee has not explored other locations. Right now we are just focused on the task at hand, which we were charged with: the design and cost estimates for a new pool for the community.
“It’s up to us to get to a final happy place and then present it to the community for opinion.”
Public informational meetings will be planned.