There's been a lot of construction going on in Hoyt Park lately, but that's good news for Wauwautosa and nearby communities. That work -- due to come to an end in May -- is prepping a brand new Hoyt Park Pool.
A grand opening ceremony is slated for May 28.
"Its really exciting to see the hard work of so many people pay off in what will be a great asset for our community," says Mary Pluta of Friends of Hoyt Park and Pool.
"So many people have donated their time and money to make this vision a reality and we're all looking forward to seeing them at the pool this summer."
The new pool replaces a near-legendary one that was on the site for many years and was extremely popular in the neighborhood destination for families. The first pool was constructed in 1931, but the concrete one most remember was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1939 and closed in 2003.
In 2006, the Friends group formed to raise money for a new pool.
"To date we've raised just shy of $8.2 million which fully funds the construction of the pool, operations and endowment," says Pluta. "We're still engaged in ongoing fund-raising to supplement operations, pay for on-going maintenance needs and add additional amenities."
Among those amenities are a 17,000-square foot leisure pool with zero depth entry (like walking into the water at a beach), an area with competitive lap lanes, one meter springboards, a body water slide, shade structures, reservable pods, a sand volleyball area, sunning areas, bike racks, a sand play area, landscaping and more.
The 1937 WPA bathhouse -- which has a 200-person community room -- is also being completely modernized and the zero depth area has a tots water play set including two water slides.
The new pool complex will be much "greener" than its predecessor, with grass and plantings replacing stretches of concrete, and modern filtration and cleaning systems that use ultraviolet light to allow for less reliance on chlorine and also save water.
"We managed to raise enough money for the giant slide, the children's play structure, the sand play area and the shade structures, but we're still raising money for additional deck furnishings and the starting blocks, for instance," says Pluta.
"FOHPP is not taxpayer supported, so fund-raising is part of our long-term plan."
Members of the Friends group get a pool pass that allows free admission days, evenings and during parent/tot open swim, early entry, free lap lane swimming for adults, members only event nights and discount on birthday pool party packages. Details are on the Web site.
Open swim hours are Monday-Friday, noon until 4:30 p.m. and from 6 until 8 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays. Weekends, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Parent/tot open swim is weekdays 9-11 a.m.
Admission prices range from $4 to $9 depending on age and day and time. Children 2 and under are free.
The Wauwatosa Recreation Department will also run swimming lesson and adult exercise classes at the pool.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.