Dubuque may see new aquatic center to replace Hempstead pool - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque may see new aquatic center to replace Hempstead pool

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The Dubuque Community School District wants to replace Hempstead High School's aging swimming pool The Dubuque Community School District wants to replace Hempstead High School's aging swimming pool
DUBUQUE (KWWL) - A new aquatic center may be in the works for Dubuque.

The city and Dubuque Community School District are exploring the possibility of teaming up on the project.

This proposal to partner arises out of a need to replace Hempstead High School's swimming pool.

On the surface it looks like any old pool, but a closer look reveals cracks, stains and leaks.

"It's leaking gallons and gallons of water every day," the district's athletic supervisor Amy Hawkins said. "The deck space is really limited when we host large meets and we have more than two teams there. We've had some issues with some tiles coming up at the bottom of the pool that are dangerous for our kids."

Hempstead's pool was built with the original school building more than 40 years ago. The facility serves as the practice and competition venues for the boys and girls swim teams of Hempstead and Dubuque Senior high schools.

"During the season, each school hosts about six meets a year, so we're using that pool pretty much all fall and all winter," Hawkins said. "Then, when we're not using it, the City of Dubuque uses it for swimming lessons and open swim."

In its long-term facilities plan, the Dubuque School Board has earmarked $7 million in local option sales tax funds to build the district a new swimming pool, board president Mike Donohue said.

However, the City of Dubuque is considering partnering with the school district to build a full-fledged aquatic center that community members could use as well.

Dan Kroger, recreation division manager with Dubuque's Leisure Services Department, said the aquatic center would give the department "the opportunity to expand our programming, whether it's athletic-related or youth enrichment-related, the ability to create new programs, new leisure spaces that we don't normally have right now."

The district and city are still in the feasibility and planning stages of the aquatic center.

Both entities are seeking public input on the proposed community aquatic center.

Residents can share their opinions at two April 22 meetings at the Five Flags Center in Dubuque. They run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Five Flags Center's Majestic Room.

People can also submit their opinions right now online. That's HERE: http://cityofdubuque.mindmixer.com
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