Keith Pollek, of Burlington, prepares for splashdown Tuesday while becoming the first person down the drop slide at the Burlington Community Aquatic Center. Pollek, who is president and CEO of Fox River State Bank, purchased the rights to be first down the slide during an auction at the Sneak Peek Pool Party in April. (Photo by Ed Nadolski)

New Burlington Community Aquatic center opens Friday

By Ed Nadolski

Editor in Chief

On Friday, a year and a half after they overwhelmingly approved spending more than $5 million to replace their 51-year-old pool, City of Burlington residents will get a chance to take the plunge into the cooling waters of their state-of-the-art aquatic center.

And while the new Burlington Community Aquatic Center is open to people beyond the borders of the city, it’s the local voters who get the credit – or blame, depending on how you voted – for making the project happen.

So what was it that motivated nearly 70 percent of city voters in the 2016 presidential election to support a referendum on the pool project?

It’s quality of life, according to Mayor Jeannie Hefty.

“Absolutely,” she said. “Those are the exact words.”

With the new aquatic center the city has “brought it to another level,” Hefty added.

Featuring dual tanks – one with zero-depth entry, a children’s water playground and a current channel that can also be used as a lazy river, and one with three slides, two diving boards, a climbing wall and a 25-meter lap area – the facility offers something for people of all ages, she said.

“My grandchildren who live in Elkhorn are coming to Burlington this summer (for swimming),” Hefty said, noting the aquatic center will draw people from throughout the area.

The aquatic center will open to the general public for the first time from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday. The first full days will be Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Friday’s opening comes after years of planning and nine months of demolition and construction at the same site in Devor Park on Amanda Street that was home to the Burlington Community Pool for more than 50 years.

To read the full story, including the history of the project planning, see the May 31 edition of the Burlington Standard Press.

If you go…

What: Opening weekend for the new Burlington Community Aquatic Center

When: Friday 5 to 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Cost: Daily fee – $8 resident/$10 non-residents; Season memberships – $175 family, $100 individual, $90 senior for residents/$225 family, $135 individual, $100 senior for non-residents

Lowdown: The aquatic center features the latest in water recreation with beach-like entry, water playground, current channel, three slides, a high dive and a climbing wall.

The new Burlington Community Aquatic Center features three slides, two diving boards and a climbing wall among its amenities. (Photo by Ed Nadolski)