Since its opening in 1966, the original municipal swimming pool served as an entertainment hub for generations of Cascade residents seeking a wet respite from the dog days of Iowa summers.

But the pool had seen better days — the wading pool was a thing of the past, and like most things in their 50s, the pool began showing signs of age.

That’s when a group of area residents dove into the deep end of exploring all possibilities of what could be done to the aging vessel. The Cascade Pool Committee formed and began meeting monthly, and even twice some months, with a representative from Burbach Aquatics from Platteville, Wis.

The committee investigated three options: repairing the existing pool, refurbishing the existing pool or building an entirely new pool. Following a unanimous vote from the Cascade City Council, the process of replacing the former pool began. There was no extra discussion needed during that council meeting, as the Pool Committee had presented a comprehensive summary of the three options of repairing, renovating or replacing. The recommendation accepted by the Council called for replacing the current pool at an opinion of cost of $2,431,000.

If a referendum passed in May 2018, the pool project would go out to bid in January 2019, construction would begin in August 2019 and residents and visitors could cool off in a new pool by summer of 2020.

In May 2018, voters voted overwhelmingly with a 92% approval rating 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, and construction of the new swimming pool got underway.

In addition, over 132 individual donations from Cascade community members totaled over $200,000. Thirty-three local businesses gave a collective $270,000. Those included fundraisers by the Cascade swim team, Cascade and Aquin elementary schools, a beach towel and bag sale, and an event at Two Gingers Tavern. The City of Cascade contributed $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 rounded out the project budget of $3.38 million. Members of the grant writing committee were also successful with applications to the following organizations:

• Jones County Community Foundation — $10,000.

• Woodward Communications Foundation — $10,000.

• Aureon Charity Grant — $700.00.

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 included 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.

Replacement of the 50-year-old pool was a welcome advancement to the Cascade community. “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. “The project has been successful thanks to a grassroots effort from the community, and we look forward to enjoying the new pool.”