Herald JournalHerald Journal, Feb. 24, 2003

Lester Prairie pool to open in June; donations still sought for improvements

By Julie Yurek

Children will be able to swim and slide at the renovated pool in Lester Prairie this summer.

The pool will have its necessary items to open for business, and it will have a few extras for the community to enjoy, said Michele Anderson, city council member and park board liaison.

Three lifeguard chairs, a waterslide that can be configured into different shapes for the deep end, a slide for the shallow end, a portable deck vacuum, five ladders, depth markers, and a one-meter diving board were the items the Lester Prairie Park Board recommended the city purchase in order to open the pool in June.

Three of the items ­ the depth markers, ladders, and lifeguard chairs ­ are required for pool operation, said Bob LaDuke of Aqua Logic.

The total cost of the items are approximately $43,935, Anderson said.

The fund has a total of $83,665, $48,575 of it from Art Schwichtenberg's $80,000 donation, and $48,584 has been donated as of Friday.

After paying Aqua Logic $43,935, the fund has about $40,000 left.

There are pool donation envelopes that have yet to be opened, Anderson said. The fund committee is hoping more donations arrive soon, she said. Anderson has been notified by companies that their donation can be expected soon, she said.

Donations are still being accepted. It may be made out to "Donation for LP City Pool Fund" and can be sent to City of Lester Prairie, PO Box 66, Lester Prairie, MN 55354.

The board also discussed additional repairs and items that would be beneficial to the pool, including re-cementing the pool deck, re-plastering and expanding the wading pool to include it into the main pool area, a play feature for the wading pool, a new fence surrounding the pool, and other miscellaneous repairs or items.

The additional cost would be approximately $98,500.

Much discussion went into the layout and remodeling of the wading pool. That part of the pool might not open the same day as the rest of the pool, Anderson said.

Any change in the size of the wading pool would require the water depth to be a minimum of two feet or a fence would be required to prevent children from jumping in on the sides, said Dan Ludgren of Aqua Logic.

Water levels less than two feet would require a fence all the way around the pool, leaving only an entrance. Park board member Chris Schultz did not like the idea of a fence, he said.

He didn't like the two feet water depth either, he said, but he'll take that over the fencing.

The board also discussed whether the wading pool should have a play feature.

"I think the little ones should have something in their pool, too," said Mark Schwartz, park board member.

New park board member Jennifer Thiry suggested capping a water line in the wading pool to add a play feature later.

A water line would need to be installed when the pool is re-plastered in order to accommodate the play feature, Ludgren said.

The board agreed it made sense to plan for the future and cap a line in the pool, and see how much money is raised through donations before deciding on a

The cost of a play feature is included in the $98,500.

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