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Hoyt Park pool will include green features

Solar panel-ready bathhouse, grassy beach planned

Sept. 22, 2010

From a "green beach" to an underwater bench, the Tosa Pool at Hoyt Park will boast some cool features not seen at most community aquatic facilities.

Unique aspects of the park will be apparent to visitors when the pool opens in May. For instance, the kids' play structure will offer water cannons, sprinklers, slides and rope ladders.

"That's the kind of thing you're more likely to find at a hotel or water park in Wisconsin Dells," said Dean Mueller, architect with Water Technology.

The Hoyt Park pool will have a shallow area larger than most pools to accommodate young children. With a zero-depth entry, people will find it similar to walking into the water from beach, he said.

But there will be plenty of deeper water for swimming. That's where the bench comes in. Parents will be able to watch their children bobbing through the water from an underwater perch and window.

The behind-the-scenes aspects of the pool are also impressive, Mueller said.

Advancements in filtration technology will allow much less water and energy to be wasted during the cleaning process. The sanitation system will use ultraviolet light, which reduces the need for chlorine and kills more bacteria. The building roof and pool systems will be designed so that solar panels can be installed when funding becomes available.

"The major donors are very much interested in green technology," Mueller said.

That means bringing in grass and plantings to create a "green beach" where people can bask in the sun, said Denise Lindberg, Friends of Hoyt Park and Pool executive director.

"It's about it all not being concrete," she said. "It will be an inviting place to plant a beach towel or blanket."

The original bathhouse pavilion will undergo extensive remodeling and replacement to modernize the facility.

"It will pretty much look like a new building when done with sort of a historic flavor," said R.G. Keller of Welman Architects.

The 1937 building with vaulted ceilings and a fireplace was a project of a New Deal agency.

There was talk of demolishing the building at one point, but the group saw an opportunity to use the space year-round as a community room and bring in rental revenue, he said. Had the group rebuilt the pavilion, adding that space likely would have been cost-prohibitive.

Work on the pavilion - which will include a concession stand, space for a coffee shop or restaurant, shower and changing facilities and ticket office - is expected to begin mid-October.

Construction crews have already started pouring concrete for the pool floor and walls, Mueller said.

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