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Legion Pool debate: We can do better than what we have

Quinn Dekker, Staff writer

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If you have grown up in the Green Bay area, there is a good chance you have visited either the Resch or Joannes Aquatic Centers.

Both of these Green Bay pools manage to break the stereotypes we normally associate with public pools. They both feature large grass areas to lounge and picnic in, places for children to build sandcastles, spacious pools and towering water slides similar to what you might find at some country clubs.

If you were to then visit De Pere’s Legion Pool, you would soon realize why public pools are often associated with such negative stereotypes.

The Legion Pool experience starts with bare feet marching through the locker rooms with floors covered in mysterious liquids. People then arrive at the main area which is fenced in a tight space with all concrete floors. The pool itself can often be overcrowded, emphasizing the fact that Legion can be a toilet for many younger children.

Now, it would be a lie to say that Legion Pool has not created many happy memories — myself included  — but De Pere should not turn down the opportunity to create a better pool.

In 2016 De Pere Council members voted unanimously to create a new and improved $9 million aquatic center on the west side of town. These exciting plans came with one major drawback: the closing of Legion Pool. This caused public outcry among many residents on the east side, resulting in the decision being pushed back.

Plans regarding the new pool are still pending, with a city-wide referendum coming in November. .

After generations of memories at Legion Pool, it is easy to see why east De Pere is so attached to the pool. One of the biggest causes for concern is that fewer children would have access to a pool; however, the location of the new pool, at VFW Park, is closer than many think. There is only a 1.8-mile distance between Legion and VFW parks. The slight difference in location would only limit some of the residents farthest east in De Pere from being able to bike to the pool. All children who can be driven to the pool would only face a minor inconvenience.

Many supporters of Legion Pool are also reluctant to build the new pool because of the memories that several De Pere residents would call an “essential” part of their childhood. It may be hard to say goodbye to something that has been in our community for so long, but it would also be a new beginning.

The new aquatic center would be a place for children to spend their summers for generations to come. It’s about time we stop Legion Pool from holding us back from creating a newer, improved pool that all of De Pere, both east and west, can be proud of.

 

2 Comments

2 Responses to “Legion Pool debate: We can do better than what we have”

  1. Dan Van Straten on October 1st, 2018 12:44 pm

    Well written but you are missing the big picture. Keep up the great work at our paper.

  2. Violet Smale on October 18th, 2018 11:51 am

    Ivy, I think this is eloquently written, and I appreciate your stance. As someone who grew up in downtown De Pere, I was touched by your use of emotional appeals.

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Legion Pool debate: We can do better than what we have