Aquatics Center Groundbreaking Signals New Era in Area Recreation
An unseasonably chilly spring day did not dampen the spirits of Wisconsin Rapids residents who gathered near Witter Field on May 21. People of all ages turned out to help celebrate a groundbreaking ceremony for the Aquatics Center at Witter Field. This event signified that the dream of renewed outdoor aquatic recreation in our city is fully taking shape.
Located near the Skate Park and Tennis Courts at Witter Field, the Aquatics Center will offer year-round recreational activities that appeal to residents and tourists across generations. City officials, Miron Construction representatives and students from Howe Elementary School were among those who ‘dug in’ to kick off construction activities for the facility, which is set to open in time for the 2020 outdoor pool season.
During groundbreaking ceremonies, City Alderperson Tom Rayome, one of many City officials who tirelessly worked to make the moment possible, reflected upon the 20-plus years of public discussion and debate on the need, location and scale of such a facility, He also looked ahead to the work that remains in completing this project.
Jorian Greenwood, a now newly graduated alumna of Lincoln High School, spoke as president of the Mayor’s Youth Council, which has played a major role in assessing residents’ desires for the aquatic park and in fundraising efforts. Jorian expressed her hope that she can look forward to returning home during and after her college career and enjoy this regional venue with her family.
Angel Whitehead and Meredith Kleker of, respectively, the Heart of Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce and Wisconsin Rapids Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, acknowledged the importance of projects such as the Aquatics Center to help market and “brand” our community as a destination of choice in which to live, work and play.
For me, the occasion, in a way, brought me full circle. When I was 11 years old, I took it upon myself to write a letter to City leaders to express my support for an outdoor aquatic center adjacent to what is now going to be the YMCA/Boys and Girls facility near Centralia Center. Eighteen years later, I am thrilled as a resident and policymaker to be on hand for civic history in the making.
The City has raised just over $3 million in private fundraising and is investing $5.5 million into this $12 million project. We’re raising an additional $3 million in additional funding from individual donations and corporate contributions to offset any additional contribution necessary by the City. Naming-rights and sponsorship opportunities are available. Individual contributions, of whatever amount, help us to get closer to our goal of attracting people to visit and live in central Wisconsin.
For more information about the Aquatics Center Project, visit our City website.
Honor the symbol of our nation’s ideals on Flag Day, June 14
This Friday, June 14, people across the United States can celebrate an enduring symbol of our nation’s ideals. National Flag Day commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777, by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. It also enables citizens to reflect on the foundations of this country’s freedom.
Flag Day helps us to keep close at heart our loyalty to the nation and observe the priceless gift of liberty, by displaying the American flag at homes and public buildings.
In addition, Flag Day kicks off Honor America Days, a U.S. Congress-declared 21-day period through to the 4th of July. This period offers ample opportunities to applaud and honor our country.
Make Friday a day to show your true colors – red, white and blue!
Coffee with the Mayor at McMillan Library this Tuesday
Having experienced the unique opportunity to meet face to face and talk with local citizens during “Coffee with the Mayor” sessions throughout the city, I look forward to another special occasion this Tuesday, June 18 from 9:00-10:00am at McMillan Memorial Library.
Engaging with citizens and empowering all to be “part of the conversation” helps to generate invaluable insights about our city’s current status and future direction. Hope you’ll be on hand to share your thoughts and questions!
Thanks for reading,