City: Rapids Aquatic Center Won’t Affect Marshfield Plans

Plans for a $10 million pool complex in Wisconsin Rapids won’t affect plans for a Marshfield facility to replace Hefko Pool, city officials say.

An unnamed donor has offered $2.5 million toward the Witter Field Recreational Complex if Wisconsin Rapids can raise the same amount plus an extra $1.5 million for park features. If the $4 million is raised or at least the fundraising sources identified by January 31, the conditions of the match also require finishing the project within two years. Plans for the facility include three pools, water slides, playground, shelter, and a place for winter activities like ice skating.

“I think if we were closer to places like Weston and Rapids than we are, but at thirty miles out, I think there’s enough separation to where people here expect to have their own aquatic facility in town,” said City Administrator Steve Barg.

Plans to replace Hefko Pool in Marshfield have gained momentum. In October, the Common Council approved a challenge grant that would see the City match dollar for dollar up to $3 million in public donations. A feasibility study is still underway to discover the range of donations that could be expected.

“I suspect this is going to get some positive momentum as we start moving forward,” said Barg. “One, the pool we have is well over 80 years old and there’s a point where, even what we have now, some spring they’re going and try to turn things on and it’s not going to work.”

Fundraising for the pool is not likely to begin next year. “We’re looking at ‘20 or ‘21, but we don’t want it to go any further than that,” said Mayor Bob McManus.

News Desk
Author: News Desk