Legion Pool debate: History, tradition need to be kept

Ivy Hamblen, Staff writer

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Imagine this: It’s a scorching summer day, sun beating down and the smell of popcorn is in the air.

You’re 10, and you and your friends arrive at the local, community pool, surrounded by familiar, friendly faces.

Legion Pool is your neighborhood pool. It’s the long-lasting summer tradition of DePere residents, and it’s filled with joyous kids playing their summer away in their pool. But, suddenly, one summer when you arrive suited for swimming, the pool has been filled with dirt, and your favorite local spot is gone forever.

But why?

The dilemma of what to do with our beloved Legion Pool has dragged on forever, so it seems. Do we keep it, or do we ditch it for something new?

Some would argue constructing a new, bigger and more expensive pool in VFW Park on the west side of De Pere would fix all the problems.

I, however, couldn’t disagree more. Those who are advocating for this new pool are disregarding tradition and the foundation that built many of our peers’ childhoods.

Legion Pool has seen generations of kids looking for a fun summer activity. Not only is Legion local — only blocks from our school — it’s inexpensive, which is the last word anyone would use to describe this new pool.

The new pool, which plans to include water slides and a lazy river, is estimated as a nearly $9 million project. Sure, the new pool has a variety of upgrades to Legion, but it would come at the cost of destroying tradition and wrecking 60 years of history.

I, for one, wouldn’t price Legion Pool’s humble appearance and rich tradition. It seems not everyone is so fond of Legion’s modest accommodations and lively history.

And so what? Legion is, quite frankly, old. Maybe it is dirty, and maybe it does need upgrades. Why don’t we spend some that money dedicated for VFW to upgrade Legion? A deep clean of the locker room, the pool itself, fixing building issues, and adding a slide or two wouldn’t hurt. That would STILL be less than 9 million.

Personally, I don’t understand those who are so willing to ditch the DePere culture that comes with Legion Pool in favor for a pool farther from our neighborhood and at a high cost.

Maybe families in West De Pere don’t respect tradition or history. Maybe they don’t appreciate the community value of familiar faces. Maybe families on the west side aren’t proud of their pool, but De Pere residents are.



4 Responses to “Legion Pool debate: History, tradition need to be kept”

  1. Evan crone on September 28th, 2018 6:41 pm

    Dont care that much if it leaves or stays

  2. Kate on September 30th, 2018 7:03 am

    I would like it to stay.

  3. Emma Jo Hirschy on October 10th, 2018 8:05 am

    Politics is bargaining and compromise. In this case, you need to acknowledge the desperate need for compromise. “Those who are advocating for this new pool are disregarding tradition and the foundation that built many of our peers’ childhoods.” If anything, those advocating for the new pool are thinking about it economically and logically. If you interviewed Mr. Boyd, one of the key persons working on this issue, you would learn it would cost more tax payer money to simply renovate a hole in the ground that, quite frankly, is now dangerous due to the underlying mechanical issues. That money, that you would like to use towards a pool that is guaranteed to just break down again in a few years time, could be used for something actually needed. I did not see anywhere within your article the price of a renovations for Legion. Even if, the cost of renovation will substantially stand over the price of making one large aquatic system. Why? Because you have not accounted for the years to come where more and more renovations will be in need of. Again, that is logic. Take into mind that residents (who actually pay property taxes, which I doubt you specifically do not) will be losing their money because some almost Adult kids want to play in a dangerous, falling apart pool. If anything, tax payers want their children to be safe and entertained. Trust me, children in our area would much rather play at a big aquatic system that is Legion x10, instead of a pointless hole in the ground that kids pee in every two minutes. De Pere must thing of all their residents, and not be self-interested like this article was. Also, please refer to the Kaukauna Aquatic System–they are striving!!

  4. hammah on October 18th, 2018 11:51 am

    this is really good and I like your opinion 8)

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Legion Pool debate: History, tradition need to be kept