GENA Fundraiser Succeeds, City Pool Consultant Rating Gives Memorial Pool #1 Score, and Effort to Revitalize Veterans Memorial Pool Continues.


LA CROSSE, WI – Grandview-Emerson Neighborhood Association (GENA) continues its efforts to revitalize Veterans Memorial Municipal Pool after over a year and a half of closure.  Thanks to a successful campaign for a community-funded study by Isaac Sports Group (ISG), the GENA Memorial Pool Committee has shared ISG’s report & recommendations to 6 different groups, including GENA, the public, City Budget Planning Committee, City Finance & Personnel Committee, City Pool Committee, & City Park Board.  Future meetings with the City Heritage Preservation Commission, neighborhood associations, La Crosse School District, UWL, & interested donors are also in the works for additional feedback & support.

GENA is pleased with recent progress working with the City Pool Committee as well as City Parks & Recreation staff and extends its appreciation.  GENA gives special thanks to the over 200 people who contributed to the study fundraiser, surpassing the original $6,000 goal, which has allowed ISG to conduct additional analysis of a renovated pool & bathhouse at the historic site.  Further research is underway on new programming options & unique pool features to meet today’s modern aquatic needs that increase attendance and keep the City’s operation costs lower than the initial Burbach Aquatics proposal to restore Memorial Pool.

Steve Carylon, Parks, Recreation & Forestry Director said, “I am in full support of the [ISG] report and I think it is a great piece of work”.  Eileen Kirsh, Park Board Commissioner, went further to say about the ISG report, “I liked the part of the report where you assessed the programming and what was possible…I would like the City’s Pool Committee to think real hard about that…and I would like to hear from you [Steve Carylon, Parks Director] and Jay Odegaard [Parks Superintendent] about the vision for future programming.”

When Stu Isaac of ISG was asked if the report took into consideration the Citywide survey data conducted by UWL, he stated that it confirmed many of the findings from working with GENA.  Barb Janssen of the City’s Pool Committee also noted many people across the City funded the study, not just one neighborhood, and “it is bigger than GENA”.

Meanwhile, the City’s consultant, Burbach, has been working closely with the City’s Pool Committee to identify a facility that best meets the community’s needs.  In Burbach’s presentation on January 11th, which examined competing aquatics facilities and population demographics in our service area, 2 key findings of their leading research that aligned with the recommendations in the GENA ISG report include:

  1. The Memorial Pool site is #1, as rated for their total score on 18 engineering categories by Burbach, over Forest Hills (2nd) & Myrick Park (3rd)
  2. The #1 demand is for an outdoor recreation pool like GENA has proposed for Memorial Pool.  Burbach also reported that indoor water area demand is 44% lower (+4,919) than for an outdoor recreation pool and the current water area available at large regional aquatic facilities exceeds demand by 27% (-12,437 sq ft)

The GENA Committee has further noted that City efforts of neighborhood revitalization, preserving vital historic landmarks, supporting local businesses and their transportation vision (valuing greater access by mass transit or without a vehicle) provide additional support for ranking the Memorial site #1.  Work by the GENA Committee continues and they are welcoming new members, in or outside of GENA, to join.

Additionally, all community members are asked to help in the following ways:

  1. Share your testimonials, historic research and pictures of Memorial Pool by emailing: or posting on Facebook
  2. Stay engaged – attend meetings, read news & join our Facebook Page: Save Memorial Pool
  3. Converse with neighbors, City Council Members & Candidates, City Officials, & the City Pool Committee Members
  4. Consider pledging to a pool at Memorial and share your ideas for potential donors and foundations who share our vision for Veterans Memorial Municipal Pool
  5. Lastly – continue to get involved in aquatics for all the health and wellness benefits for you & the entire community

GENA Memorial Pool Report, Schematics, listing of “Supporters” of Save Memorial Pool (last page), & Burbach’s Pool Reports can be found here:

Contact: Jacob Sciammas, Chair-GENA Memorial Pool Committee,

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