- Published on 22 May 2012
- Written by Jenn Lampila
- Hits: 920
Yes kids, after two dismal summers in its absence, the slide is back.
Not one, but two.
Walking anywhere in the neighborhoods around Crete’s Wildwood Pool, and you’re sure to notice the vibrant colors of new equipment.
The drab gray concrete decks and outer fencing, which have kept children out of the construction zone since the 2011 season ended, now have the cool blue water, complimented by two slides, purple and green and an array of bright pipes and fountains on a splash pad in place of the old kiddy pool.
The zero-entry on the west end of the pool may not be color-coded like the rest of the pool’s improvements, however, its accessibility advancements make up for it.
In the bathhouse, swimmers may notice other improvements in paint and safety precautions.The pool officially opens on Monday, Memorial Day, the traditional start to summer fun in conjunction with the holiday’s observances.
Like many newly renovated places, the pool will have a “soft opening” if you will, a test drive on Friday (May 25) for a Crete BackPack Program fund-raiser.
On Friday, rates will be $5 per person for a night of swimming from 6 to 8 p.m. Proceeds will benefit the backpack program’s mission during the school year to help local families fill dinner plates on the weekends.
With the new equipment comes the honor of being the inaugural swimmers down the new slides. A contest will be held at the event Friday night to determine the first sliders from among guests.
The Crete Backpack Program feeds families on the weekends for 34 weeks during the school year. During the 2011-2012 school year, 89 backpacks were sent home with participating students each week - 60 from Crete Elementary, 23 from Crete Middle School and 6 from St. James.
Menus each weekend consist of six rotating varieties of items including boxed or canned foods with an egg or bread voucher and milk vouchers. The program began in Lincoln with the Lincoln Food Bank, who purchases the food at bulk prices. Lincoln has 37 schools operating the program currently with an additional 21 schools in rural communities.
Funds are raised locally each year. One backpack costs $200 to fill for the year, making this year’s tag $17,800. Milk vouchers were added to make the total $20,100.
Donations to the Crete BackPack Program are received through United Church of Christ, First Congregational at 440 East 12th St. P.O. Box 263, Crete, NE 68333. Volunteers are also welcome to help pack or deliver.
Tom Ourada, City director of public works, said the pool work was on schedule as of last week’s regular council meeting (Tuesday) to open on time for the Backpack event and then the official opening on Memorial Day.