For more than 50 years and across multiple generations, the Cascade Municipal Pool was utilized as both a summer cooling center and social center for Cascade-area citizens.
That era came to a close July 28 and what now stands on the location where the pool did is little more than an enormous hole in the ground.
The overwhelming majority of Cascade citizens could not be happier, because the 2019 pool season was abbreviated to allow construction to begin on the brand-new pool, which has an expected completion date before summer 2020.
With such an expansive project, there are, of course, names of companies associated with the actual construction process. But the fact that these names are being uttered at all in the same sentence as the words “new pool,” speaks to the hard work and determination of countless individuals in beginning the planning and generating the funding that makes it all possible.
A Pool Committee formed and went through numerous design ideas before settling on the one they wanted to present to the City Council. In May 2018, voters overwhelmingly to allow the City of Cascade to issue a $2 million bond for a new municipal pool.
The Cascade Wave of the Future Capital Campaign received a grant from the Enhance Iowa Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT) Committee for $228,887.73. The grant successfully wrapped up the capital campaign
Also, nearly 600 individual donations from Cascade community members totaled over $200,000. Thirty-two local businesses gave a collective $244,000. These included fundraisers by the Cascade swim team, Cascade and Aquin Catholic elementary schools, a beach towel and bag sale, and an event at Two Gingers Tavern. The City of Cascade will contribute $575,000 to the project, and the Dubuque and Jones County boards of supervisors pledged a combined $32,500. A total of $2,700 of in-kind contributions rounds out the project budget of $3.38 million. Members of the grant writing committee were also successful with applications to the following organizations:
• Iowa Land and Water Conservation Fund — $75,000.
• Jones County Community Foundation — $10,000.
• Woodward Communications Foundation — $10,000.
• Aureon Charity Grant — $700.
The Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque managed the project fund. “We are very grateful to the organizations who have invested in our project and our community,” said Amy Manternach, Cascade resident and vice president of finance and philanthropy at the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque. “We are equally thankful for the people of Cascade who have contributed time, treasure and talent to make our new pool a reality.”
Local contractors collaborated on the bid for a brand new, energy-efficient bathhouse with accessibility features, saving the project upward of $300,000. The design for the new pool also includes a 5,617 square-foot vessel with zero-depth entry, water features, six 25-yard lap lanes, both one- and three-meter diving towers and protective shade structures.
“Our new pool will be a place where residents and visitors make memories, children learn to swim, accessibility is a priority and outdoor exercise and health are celebrated by all ages,” said Manternach.
Work on the project is ongoing, and has been scheduled to hopefully make the best use of the weather. They hope to have the bathhouse and mechanical areas blocked in so they can focus on inside work during the winter months.
“We’ve been doing a lot of grading,” said Deanna McCusker, city administrator, Sept. 9. “There have been some concrete pours. We’ve had concrete poured for the deep manhole, the backwash slab and slabs for the two containment tanks.”
Progress may be slow to the untrained eye, but McCusker said there are monthly progress meetings to keep everything moving forward. “It’s getting everybody together on the same page, making sure everyone knows the scheduling,” McCusker said.
Meanwhile, an advisory committee is picking out colors for siding, block, windows, doors, roof and water features. McCusker said they also want to get the vessel poured before winter.
Manternach said the community is more than ready to test its waters upon completion. “The project has been successful thanks to a grassroots effort from the community, and we look forward to enjoying the new pool next summer.”