By Joe Bachman
WISCONSIN RAPIDS — A regional aquatics center at Witter Field is still on schedule, according to Mayor Zach Vruwink.
The mayor provided an update on the project’s progress at Tuesday night’s Finance & Property meeting, where he outlined two phases that the facility is expected to go through the construction process. Phase 1 will include the pools, bath houses, features, parking, and stormwater drainage, while Phase 2 seeks to focus on additional features, such as tennis courts, secondary parking, shelters, and additional park amenities.
According to Vruwink, the final design concept will be finalized by March 1. As far as cost goes for the center, the $9-10 million dollar range for the core elements of the center as seen in phase 1 will remain roughly the same, with the potential for phase 2 components for an additional $2 million. This leaves the city with $4.5 million dollars left to raise through private and philanthropic means.
“If the philanthropic, public and private support for the facility comes in between now and the next 60 days, then I think by March 1, we can safely say that we’ll move forward,” said Vruwink to finance members. “The question remains what will that look like on March 1st, and if we’ll make tweaks to the schedule.”
While much is left up in the air, city leaders are still hopeful for a 2019 summer opening, with construction to start early this spring.
“The city still remains very interested in hearing from members to be apart of a [capital campaign] committee,” said Vruwink. “It’s not a city project, per se, but a community project.”