The Hefko Pool was built in 1933. Significant renovations were completed in 1974 including a new diving well and bathhouse. Since that time, no significant improvements have been made. In 2000, a pool study was completed and the construction of a new pool with an estimated cost of $3.2 million was recommended. The Parks and Recreation Department has been able to keep the Hekfo pool open with relatively minor expenses; however, it is unknown how long this can be done without being confronted with a major failure. In 2016, the City of Marshfield’s Common Council formed a pool committee to come up with a long-term solution. The City hired Ayers Associates to help assess the current pool, develop concept plans, and provide cost estimates. The Committee and Ayers presented their final results in January 2017, recommending the construction of a $7 million aquatic facility at the pool’s current location on South Central Avenue. After approval, Ayers Associates was retained to conduct professional surveying of the Hefko property and adjoining Marshfield Utilities property. The Department is working with the Utilities on a plan to share the property for the future aquatic center expansion project. Currently, the committee is looking for someone that is willing to lead a fundraising campaign. The Department will continue operating the current Hefko pool until construction begins on the new aquatic facility.
Zoo Welcome Center / Cougar Exhibit
The Zoo Welcome Center and Cougar Exhibit (Welcome Center) project includes the remodeling of the existing cougar building, which was the staff maintenance and office building. The Welcome Center will be conveniently located near the most heavily used areas of the zoo. The new restrooms will be ADA-accessible and accommodate the heavy use of festivals and events. The improved cougar exhibit will be larger and incorporate more natural surfaces. The education center will contain small animal and educational displays. The City retained Design Unlimited to provide design and architectural services. Currently, it is in the design stage and will enter the fundraising stage this summer. The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2019.
Wenzel Family Plaza
The Wenzel Family Plaza planning started 15 years ago when the City identified a need for a community gathering place in its downtown master planning process. Construction on the Plaza began in September 2017 and it is tentatively scheduled to be completed by July 2018. Wenzel Family Plaza is being developed on the former Marshfield News-Herald property along West Third Street. It will include a performance stage, a fountain, tables, and chairs for dining, plant/trees, and a shaded seating area. The plaza is being funded by a combination of public and private funds, which includes large contributions from the Wenzel Family, the Economic Development Board, and the Marshfield Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Wildwood / McMillian Trail
Construction on the Wildwood-McMillan Connector started in September 2017 and is scheduled to be completed by mid-summer 2018. The 2.5-mile trail is a multi-use trail that partially follows an old railroad line and will connect Wildwood Park & Zoo to McMillan Street. The trail begins at Wildwood Park & Zoo, progresses north to Steve J. Miller Park, and continues north to McMillan Street, passing the Marshfield Medical Center and Grant School. The project is funded through a combination of federal, state, and city money and will add to an existing matrix of bicycle/walking trails within the city.
Fairgrounds Management / Maintenance Transition
The City of Marshfield, the Central Wisconsin State Fair Association (CWSFA), and the Fairgrounds Commission have agreed to transition the management and maintenance of the City-owned fairgrounds property from the Parks and Recreation Department to the CWSFA. The goals of the transition include giving the CWSFA all the tools they may need to make their organization more sustainable; improving clarity and communication for property users; providing the Fair with additional revenue streams; and attracting larger events to the community. The transition will take place by May 1, 2018. For all future fair needs, contact the Fair Office at (715) 387-1261 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Parks and Recreation Department provides the baseball and softball facilities for the entire community including Marshfield public and private schools. The Department has identified various deficits that need to be addressed in order to provide adequate facilities to everyone, including the community’s strong desire for additional practice facilities. The project includes renovating the UW fields to provide additional athletic fields for both softball and baseball practices and games as well as improvements to the existing facilities at the Fairgrounds and Steve J. Miller Park. The City is partnering with private organizations to fund the projects, including the Sunrise Rotary which has been very supportive of our efforts. The project will be completed in two phases. Phase one will be done in 2018 and phase two will be completed in 2019.
Cemetery Chapel / Reflection Center
The Vaughn and Hansen Chapel was built and paid for by private donations in the 1970’s. The chapel was modeled after a structure in Brazil that has been cited for its architectural significance. Originally, the Chapel was used as a gathering space for committal services during inclement weather, large enough to hold 50 people. However, the chapel hasn’t been used in that capacity for over six years. Due to lack of use, the chapel has fallen into a state disrepair and requires over $100,000 to become a once again functional space. The City decided not to invest additional tax money into a building that seldom used and instead construct an outdoor reflection center. The Chapel is scheduled to be removed this year and the reflection center to be built in 2019.
Fairgrounds Playground Structure
The Parks and Recreation Department plans to replace the playground structure at Marshfield Fairgrounds Park in 2018. The biggest issue with the structure is the mulched surface. During every significant rain event, the mulch washes away and ends up in the ball fields and on the asphalt. The playground structure and the surface are to be replaced at the same time to ensure the best return on investment. The Department is currently evaluating different surface options, with plans to start the project after the softball season – sometime in late August/early September – to inflict the least amount of inconvenience on users.
Forest Ridge Park Sidewalk & Swing
In 2017, the Forest Ridge Park received a new ADA-accessible sidewalk surrounding the play equipment as well as a new swing called the ‘Expression Swing’. The Expression Swing is designed to promote intergenerational play in which an adult and child interact face-to-face. The design is supposed to enhance play experience and improve cognitive well-being. Stop by to give it a try and let us know your thoughts.
Fairgrounds Campus Master Plan
The Fairgrounds property is undergoing a campus master plan. A campus master plan is a policy document that guides the physical development, renovation, and repurposing of facilities and spaces on the campus of the property while protecting and enhancing important open spaces. Basically, it is a roadmap for the future of a property and becomes a crucial tool in confirming that short-term projects are working in conjunction with long-term plans and goals. The City hired MSA Professionals to complete the plan by Spring 2018.