Last weekend marked the official open of the highly anticipated SC Johnson Community Aquatic Center in the City of Racine’s Pritchard Park.
As one of the only communities in Racine County that didn’t offer a waterpark or aquatics-based recreational facility for its residents, the City of Racine is overjoyed with the new addition at Pritchard Park. Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave comments, “This project raises the bar on our plans to revitalize Pritchard Park and would not [have] happen[ed] without the incredibly generous support of SC Johnson.”
SC Johnson—headquartered in Racine County, Wisconsin—has long-held a company philosophy centered around helping make life better in the many communities it serves. To help improve recreational offerings and opportunities in the City of Racine, the organization generously donated $6.5 million to add a community aquatics facility that would offer fun and healthy recreational activities for children and adults of all ages and abilities. Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson, Fisk Johnson, states, “We’re thrilled to…provide everyone in our hometown an opportunity for some summertime fun.”
Upon receiving the donation, city officials worked with Commercial Recreation Specialists to coordinate the design, construction and installation of the new aquatics facility. The end result is a massive 15,000 square-foot water wonder, including two separate swimming pools—a lap pool and an activity pool. Special features include large waterslides, a Splashpad that transitions into a zero-entry activity pool that features Vortex Elevation and interactive features for younger children that aren’t quite ready yet for the larger pool.
The grand opening has gained widespread attention, even a visit from Olympic gold-medal swimmer Cullen Jones. Jones has been a longtime champion of swimming safety and was inspired to visit the SC Johnson Aquatics Center after learning that SC Johnson has funded a Racine Unified School District swim lesson program since 2015. As communities across the United States continue closing community pools, it takes away opportunities for children to learn how to swim. Jones was thrilled to be a part of the big day and see how SC Johnson has reinvested in the community, families and swimming safety.
The first two weeks of its opening, the SC Johnson Community Aquatic Center—managed by the Racine Family YMCA—will host its Safety Around Water Program to teach visitors swimming safety basics. In addition to serving as a fun and exciting recreational outlet for children and teens, the center demonstrates the value of family and bringing communities together. Johnson states, “To me, swimming is not just about fun…it’s about family, it’s about building relationships, it’s about the freedom of the outdoors.” City officials anticipate the new aquatics center to become a highly desired summer destination for not only residents of Racine County, but throughout the entire southeastern Wisconsin region.
After years of planning, the replacement of the City of Burlington’s 51-year old community pool was approved in a referendum held during the 2016 presidential election. The project received overwhelming support from local voters, and they are thrilled to see the Burlington Community Aquatic Center finally open its doors in June 2018.
The City invested more than $5 million in the new aquatic center at Devor Park. Officials worked with CRS to coordinate the design and construction of the facility. It features dual tanks—a Splashpad with a zero-entry activity pool that features Vortex Elevation and various water effects and spray features, in addition to a current channel that can be used as a lazy river; and one with three waterslides, two diving boards, a climbing wall and a 25-meter lap area. The facility really takes water-based recreation to the next level, offering a little bit of something for everyone to enjoy.
City of Burlington Mayor Jeannie Hefty discusses the tremendous impact the aquatic center will have on the Burlington community. She says having this state-of-the-art recreational facility will boost the community’s image and the quality of life for its residents. Like the SC Johnson Community Aquatic Center, huge turnouts are expected this summer, drawing families from throughout Walworth and Racine counties and surrounding areas.
The Splashpad Solution
The Vortex Splashpad offers both an economical and eco-friendly solution while increasing community engagement. A world leader in aquatic play landscapes and entertainment, Vortex Splashpads maximize play value by considering age and development appropriateness and including sensory stimulating activities to keep interest levels high. Zero-depth spaces eliminate drowning risk and staffing needs. Advanced water management systems help reduce water and energy consumption. Splashpads are flexible and can be customized big or small to fit any space and budget.
By incorporating Splashpads into their aquatics-based recreational offerings, communities like Racine and Burlington are providing meaningful and engaging recreational opportunities that bring people and families together while actively investing in their future.