Racine Unified School District
racine aquatic

Racine (Wis.) district ready to build aquatic center

Aug. 3, 2020
The $22.9 million facility is scheduled to open next year on land adjacent to Case High School.

The Racine (Wis.) school district is ready to begin construction of a $22.9 million aquatic center adjacent to J.I. Case High School in Mount Pleasant.

The Racine Journal Times reports the 42,000-square-foot indoor aquatic center is set to be constructed just west of the school in what is now a soybean field.

The facility, tentatively set to open in August 2021, would replace the Case pool that closed in May 2018 because of safety and mechanical concerns.

It also would serve as a replacement for the Horlick and Park high school pools, both of which are set to close as part of the district’s long-range facilities master plan. All three pools are more than 50 years old.

The board has approved the hiring of J.H. Findorff and Son of Milwaukee as the general contractor for the project.

Board member Amy Cimbalnik said she was “conflicted” on whether to vote for the project, considering the district’s situation with Covid-19.

“It feels disingenuous to be spending money on this when we know there will be budget issues coming up,” says Cimbalnik. “I am still struggling with this plan.”

Chief Operations Officer Shannon Gordon pointed out that the funds for the aquatic center would be from the district’s Community Fund, which cannot be re-directed to the operations budget.

Board member John Heckenlively pointed out that several schools have pools “that aren’t getting any younger.”

“We can do it now at a great interest rate or we can do it later, but we’re going to spend more,” says Heckenlively. “It makes sense to do it now.”

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy has been writing about education for American School & University since 1999. He also has reported on schools and other topics for The Chicago Tribune, The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Times and City News Bureau of Chicago. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

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