Study shows support for aquatic facility
By Hub City Times staff
MARSHFIELD – A new study shows an appetite for building a new aquatic facility in Marshfield. The findings of a campaign feasibility study were presented to the Marshfield Common Council on March 12, and Mayor Bob McManus was excited by what he heard.
Jodi Sweeney from the Sweeney Consulting Group told the council this week that her study analyzed the need for the new aquatic center, the plans for the new facility, and the amount of money that could be raised privately. Her study also identified potential donors and strategies for successful fundraising.
Sweeney also said the necessary $3 million in private funds needed for the project can be raised:
The cost of the new facility is approximately $6 million. Last October, the council signed off on a challenge grant, and agreed to cover half the cost of a proposed new swimming pool for the city, if community fundraising efforts could raise the other half.
Sweeney, who was also involved in successful fundraising campaigns for the city’s new library and the school district’s new athletic facilities, told the council the next steps in the process include the creation of a campaign planning committee that will meet for the next three or four months. She said potential donors have already been identified, and the city is well-positioned to launch the campaign this spring, have significant funds raised over the summer, and wrap up fundraising in a year to 14 months.
The proposed new aquatic center would include lap lanes, two diving boards, three water slides, a water play structure, a climbing wall, a new concession stand, a family changing room, shelters, and plenty of shade structures.
The Hefko Pool replacement process began in 2016, when a pool study committee came up with a design and cost estimates for a replacement. In 2017, the council chose to stay with the current Hefko Pool site, and last year a feasibility study was formed to see if the community could support the project.
The city’s Capital Improvement Plan for 2020 includes funding for a replacement for the 85-year-old Hefko Pool; that would allow a new aquatic facility to open up in the summer of 2021.