Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Committe, citizens weigh plans for future pool site

pools_400A public swimming pool could be the latest addition to the city’s long list of future projects.

Members of the Swimming Pool Committee met Thursday night at the Mifflin Street Senior Center to discuss the best choice for the site of the new pool. Its location has been on the city’s agenda as early as 1946, according to the committee.

A $2 million gift from the Goodman brothers and another $500,000 allocated from Mayor Dave Cieslewicz’s Capital Budget has allowed the city to begin planning for Madison’s first municipal pool.


Committee members, along with Madison residents and neighborhood organizations, stressed that all factors must be considered to ensure the pool is a wise investment.

“Where the city sites the pool determines its cost,” committee member Jim Morgan said.

There are currently nine sites under consideration. They include Reindahl, Wexford, Elver, Warner, Odana School and Heistand parks and Breese Stevens and Franklin fields.

Other factors under consideration in pool placement are city ownership of property, referendum implications, bus routes, pedestrian friendliness and engineering implications. The city must also look into water service, natural gas availability, electrical service and soil conditions.

The biggest concern has revolved around the pool’s proximity to the entire Madison population, according to Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4.

Location choices must be limited to three sites by as soon as Thanksgiving, or possibly earlier. The earliest deadlines to break ground are set for July 1, 2005. The project completion date is scheduled for 2006.

The pool site could require a city referendum for building. If the referendum is not set in a timely manner, its placement on the November or February primary ballots may be compromised.

“We need to be on a fast track to meet deadlines in order to get a head start on fundraising and referendum implications,” committee member Nino Amato said.

Citizens were given three minutes to share their thoughts on the pool site with committee members and select city council members.

“Breese (Stevens) makes for an excellent site,” said Jack Pettinger, a committee member and resident. “It has dwindling soccer use, and it makes for the most central location.”

Others noted the historic nature, scenic views and proximity to bus routes of the Breese Stevens site. Advocates of the location agreed its most pressing problem is parking.

Opponents to the Breese Stevens site proved to be rather passionate in their efforts to seek alternative locations, as the site dominated the debate. They referred to the “spirit of its uniqueness” and role as a soccer venue.

Other opponents to the Breese Stevens location pointed out that the mayor has recommended it remain a soccer facility.

“We would be stripping the park of its nostalgic soccer use,” citizen speaker Shaun Abshere said.

Committee members and citizens also expressed their thoughts on placing the pool in a peripheral location.

Verveer spoke in front of the committee, noting a majority of activists agree the pool should be easily accessible to all.

“Breese Stevens is just not an option. Community-based studies have shown the neighborhood is too much opposed,” Verveer said. “Franklin Field is the best-suited location because of its proximity to the population, specifically low-income population, and Madison Metro bus lines.”

The committee plans to hold two meetings a week on this topic. It will refer to consultants and neighborhood representatives to reach a timely decision.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Badger Herald

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Wisconsin-Madison. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Badger Herald

Comments (0)

All The Badger Herald Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *