The public is invited to attend the dedication of the long-awaited $8 million Lieder Family Pool 2 p.m. Sunday at Milton High School, 114 W. High St.
The new pool construction is part of a school districtwide $59.9 million referendum approved by voters in April 2019.
After a 30- to 40-minute program, the public can walk through the new space on a self-guided tour and refreshments will be provided.
Stephen Schantz, Milton School District director of building and grounds, gave the Milton Courier a sneak peek of the pool on Friday.
The new pool and the old pool (1965-2021) have few similarities other than they both had 3.6 feet of water in the shallow end and 10 feet in the deep end.
The old Dolphin robotic pool cleaner was at work scrubbing the bottom of the new pool. Moving from the six-lane to the eight-lane competition pool, the Dolphin had its work cut out for it.
To get to the pool, spectators don’t have to go through a locker room or step in water overflowing beyond the pool gutters.
While the old pool had seating for maybe 100 people, the new pool has seating for 550.
When the Courier was there, someone was running a shop vac but conversations could still be heard.
Above the new pool are sound panels, or as Schantz called them, “sound baffles.”
In the old pool, Schantz said, “it was echo-y, there wasn’t anything to absorb sound.”
Sound baffles also can be found blending in on the wall.
Gone are the steps that had to be wheeled into the pool when someone needed help getting in the pool. The new pool has zero-depth entry, a wheelchair ramp or steps can be used to enter the pool.
Like pool parties? Imagine not eating cake while standing on the pool deck. An adjacent community room will have furniture for birthday parties or conferences. A wall of glass panels allows people in the conference room to see who’s in the pool and vice versa.
Hidden storage is another key feature of the new pool. Usually competition pools have lane lines rolled up on a big reel, Schantz said. At MHS, lane lines are now stored in the trenches under the team benches along the north and east walls.
There are two sets of lane lines: one made up of a series of 4-inch discs to create 10 practice lanes and six-inch discs to create eight competition lanes.
In the locker rooms, the lockers aren’t rusting not just because they’re new but because they’re not made of metal.
Between the men and women’s locker rooms is a family locker room, especially helpful for adults accompanying young children.
On Friday, the new custom-made Milton diving blocks had not yet arrived.
“Those will be in hopefully later this month,” he said.
All in all, the pool portion of the referendum project went “very, very well,” Schantz said.
“There weren’t any significant delays or significant issues that were uncovered,” he said. “In comparison to some of the other additions and renovations, this went very, very smooth. New construction is always easier than renovation.”
Before there was the new pool, there was a circle drive near the auditorium and a parking lot.
Glass panels on the east wall, behind the team seating, allow views of the track.
Between the track and the pool will be a roadway. Buses will continue to pick up student athletes in the same area.
Nearby parking will include a few accessible parking spaces. Students, however, will continue to park in the north lot.
UP NEXT: What happened to the old pool space and when will the field house be done?
As finishing touches are being made to the new pool, construction is underway in the old pool space to create a new event entrance and an expanded commons area. Milton High School has been without a pool since February, which meant MHS Junior statebound Ryker Bailey had to practice at 100-yard butterfly at Fort Atkinson High School. Fort Atkinson also is where the girls alternate fall season practices took place.
The next high school referendum projects to be completed are the new student services and world language classrooms. Last will be the new commons area, band and choir rooms and fieldhouse. (The new STEM wing opened in April.)
Construction of the fieldhouse had been delayed.
“We have had significant delays in the procurement of the insulated metal panels, which make up pretty much the whole east wall,” Schantz said.
“Construction on the inside of the fieldhouse is almost at a standstill because you have to be weathertight to put a gym floor down. As of right now, JP Cullen is still telling us we’re tracking the way we were. They’re doing the best they can to make efficiencies with their schedule.”
Target completion for the fieldhouse is before the start of the school year. With some sports, including volleyball, starting before the school begins, he said practices will start in old Gym 1.
But, for now, the focus is on the pool.
“I’m so pleased at how this pool turned out,” Schantz said. “People are going to be in awe when they come in here, I hope, anyway.”
When will swim lessons start?
Swim lessons, practices and other programming will start Monday, June 14. Lessons are $35. Signup is at miltonrec.com. Signup for the Rec Marlins swim team is also on the website. Lap swimming will be 5:30 a.m. Monday through Friday and 5:45 p.m. Wednesday. Cost is $3 per session or $60 for six months.
Milton Recreation Supervisor Lance Knudsen said, “At this time, we are not going to offer family open swim. We are hoping to look to do this later this summer.”