By Angela T. Koenig
WESTWOOD - After nearly two years of fund raising, officials will break ground today on a $1.7 million outdoor aquatic center at the Gamble-Nippert YMCA.
The new design includes a heated, Olympic-size, 50-meter pool, a wading pool, a kids spray area and a 15-foot water slide.
Capital campaign committee member Dillon Rhodenbaugh said that he and his wife, Bev, brought their eight children through swimming programs offered at the Gamble-Nippert Y.
"So it's a tradition here on the west side that we have good facilities for swimming," he said.
The impetus to install the new aquatic center, officials said, was also born out of necessity. A slow leak deep under the pool meant constantly adding water, said Robin Chambers, Gamble-Nippert's executive director.
Chambers said without refilling, the pool would completely drain in 28 days.
"We're just very thankful that we're going to get a new pool" to serve Gamble-Nippert's 7,400 children, adult and senior membership base and nonmembers who participate in Y-sponsored aquatic programs, she said.
Rhodenbaugh said that while many contributed to the capital campaign fund, a handful of donors contributed sums large enough to fund the bulk of the project.
"We had a community-wide endeavor and several anonymous donors came forward, in excess of $1 million," he said.
"In these difficult economic times it was a daunting task - but we made it."
The aquatic center is scheduled to open the second week of May 2004.
Pulfer: After 50 years, what makes Jack Gilligan run?
Korte: Inside City Hall
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Ashcroft issues get-tough policy
Friends mourn teen
Archbishop suspends 3 priests
Challengers take swats at city development effort
Savings to begin on drugs
Wet spring may mean bright fall
Now her daddy is home to stay
Miami worker strike delayed
Water park's theme: Australia
Colerain plans for floods
Work on aquatic center begins
Family seeking Down awareness
St. John plans reunion
Vietnam vets' wall to go on display
N.Ky. counties want a jail break
Another lifestyle center coming
Schoolkids brighten underpass with mural
Wilder complex considers new pool
Turtle weathers Isabel
Evansville diocese workers undergoing background checks
Former House Speaker Joe Clarke found dead
Feds: Crash that killed three could have been avoided
Joseph Luebbers, 81, was municipal judge
Geraldine Sutyak took joy in music