Huck Watermolen

Huck Watermolen

Ridgewood’s Huck Watermolen swims the breaststroke in a dual meet against Seminole Pool on Saturday, July 13 at Ridgewood Pool.

Fundraising for a new Ridgewood Pool in Madison is underway, and the organization spearheading the effort is targeting a rebuild in the next two years.

Kathy Bissen, vice president of the Ed Nebbins Foundation, said the organization has raised about one-third of the $4.2 million needed to build a new pool.

The fundraising continued at a home meet Saturday, July 13, when the Ridgewood Pool swim team hosted a raffle for premier parking spots at the Aug. 2-4 All-City Swim Meet at West Side.

The Ed Nebbins Foundation is a nonprofit organization that is seeking to bring more children to the pool for swim lessons and more adults using the pool for rehabilitation and community needs.

Ridgewood Pool was built in 1958, and Bissen said it’s 20 to 30 years past its life expectancy. The cement is sinking and becoming corroding along with the pipes, and sand is entering the pool system, she said.

“Everything has been repaired and patched,” Bissen said. “After so long, you can’t repair and patch any longer.”

Used by the Verona Area/Mount Horeb girls swim team for practices before school begins, Ridgewood is the oldest pool in the Madison City league.

For two years, Ridgewood Pool officials have met with community members about raising money for a new pool. The pool has more than 500 members and 300 children on the swim team, and 300 people have donated to the next pool project.

The new Ridgewood Pool would be built on the current site and would include multiple levels of pools like the current one, Bissen said. The lower pool would become a 10-lane competition pool, while the upper-level pool would have a separate diving well and be available to members.

“When we get the new pool, we will have more practice space and we will still have the city’s only high dive,” she said.

The current pool does not have in-water access ramps. That is a feature the foundation plans to add to the new pool to make it more accessible.

Bissen said the new Ridgewood Pool will not be built in time to host the All-City Swim Meet next year.

“My hope is that we will be able to build during the winter after All-City, which would be at the end of next summer,” she said. “The builders have told us that if they can break down Labor Day weekend after we close, they could build the whole thing and we could still open the following Memorial Day weekend.”