LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – Just in time for a summer with fewer restrictions, the City of Friend is launching its new pool with a multi-million dollar prize.
Friend’s new pool officially opened on Monday afternoon, with a line wrapped around the block.
“Whether you’re eight or 80, there are smiles at Friend today,” said Bob Weber, who has lived in the city for 16 years.
It’s a project that has been mostly supported by parents over the past three years, after city council started considering what to do with the city’s old swimming pool, built in the 1930s.
At one point, he even considered closing the pool for good. After a committee of neighbors was formed, the plan took shape and construction on the new project began last August.
“Going in and out throughout the process – it’s nothing compared to seeing the kids all here,” said Jen Stutzman, a member of the Friends Pool committee. “The excitement on opening day is touching. It has been a long process.
It will be a nearly $ 3 million project when all is said and done; paid by a deposit approved by voters and a handful of donors.
“Our pool cost $ 2.68 million,” said Kristen Milton, chair of the Friends Pool committee. “We took a $ 2.5 million bond, raised money and asked for grants for the difference.”
For a city of 1,000 people, it was a huge business with a big payoff.
“It’s definitely an upgrade for our old pool and I’m so glad Friend made it,” said Hunter Svehla, who lives in Friend with his family.
The next step will be to complete a parking lot and have a grand opening ceremony later this summer, as the city turns 150.
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