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Helmut Schmidt, Published July 02 2013

Veterans Memorial Pool in West Fargo to get $2.2 million makeover

WEST FARGO – A $2.2 million reconstruction of Veterans Memorial Pool starts in August and should be done by June for the 2014 swimming season, the park district announced.

The pool, at 131 6th Ave. E., will be rebuilt at the same site and include features such as a zero-depth swim area, a water playground, water slides and lap lanes, park district Executive Director Barb Erbstoesser said Tuesday.

The pool’s last day open this season is July 24.

A pending study of an indoor aquatic center in West Fargo will have no effect on the plans for the pool rebuild, Erbstoesser said.

The project will be funded with bonds paid by the park district’s general fund.

Replacing the 57-year-old pool has long been on park officials’ radar, Erbstoesser said.

The footprint of the pool and bathhouse won’t change much, Erbstoesser said. There will be 4,325 square feet of recreational pool space and 10,000 square feet of pool deck.

The zero-depth pool will go from a few inches of water to about 4½ feet.

The pool won’t have diving boards, but there will be two water slides and several lanes for lap swimming.

The bathhouse will be renovated over the winter.

The Veterans Memorial Pool has averaged about 800 users a day in the recent warm, sunny weather. Overall, it’s had about 4,000 users this year, Erbstoesser said.

The new pool “is going to be a nice amenity for the neighborhood and the people of West Fargo. People are going to like what they see. It’s going to have a lot of wow factor to it,” she said.

Fargo’s Zerr Berg Architects designed the facility. Bids for the pool will be opened next week.

City, school district and park district officials are still waiting on a study by Michigan-based Isaac Sports Group of the indoor aquatics facility concept.

Estimates for such a facility have ranged from $16 million to $22.4 million.

School district Business Manager Mark Lemer said the size of the facility, beyond swimming or diving facilities, will depend on the amenities the three entities agree are needed, such as gyms, walking track, workout machines or a senior center.

“There are a lot of things that make it more … than a building that has the water in it,” Lemer said.

Erbstoesser said the goal of the park district is to not “not lose a lot of money” in the project.

“With indoor facilities, you have to have a lot of partners to make it happen,” she said.


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Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583