GOWRIE - After several years of fundraising, approving bond issues and city funding, the Gowrie pool project is under construction.
Mindy Swieter, Gowrie Pool fundraising committee chair and pool board president is happy the project is being translated into brick and mortar.
"This will help maintain the quality of life," she said. "It'll be a draw for the community."
-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Even though it’s the middle of winter, work continues on the Gowrie Pool project. It’s expected to be ready in early this summer. The $1.2 million project has drawn community support, says Mindy Swieter, fundraising committee chair and pool board president.
-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Heather Fisher, owner of the Kids Palace in Gowrie, checks on one of her young charges. Fisher is considering adding a second location to keep up with demand in the area.
She said that she hopes the new pool will attract visitors from surrounding towns as well as local residents.
The $1.2 million project is funded by a $650,000 bond, $200,000 in community donations and the balance from the city as a bond extension.
"The community supports itself," she said. "I'm thrilled they stepped up."
Work on the pool includes making the facility compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act, replacing the filtration system and other piping and remodeling the bath house.
There's also a treat for the swimmers.
"They're adding some small fun water features," she said.
Swieter has been a resident of Gowrie for nine years. She is happy to call it home.
"This town has everything you want in a small town," she said. "There's so much to offer."
Marcie Boerner, secretary of the Gowrie Development Corp. said she's happy the project is under way too.
She also said that it will maintain and improve the quality of life in Gowrie.
Crews are working on the project through the winter.
"We hope to have it open in early summer," she said.
She's also pleased with the way the community stepped up to help.
"It continues to be a positive thing," she said.
She also has a list of positive attributes for the community including both winter and summer recreation, a grocery store, Prairie Valley School and a location that gives easy access to larger communities such as Ames and Fort Dodge.
She often refers to Gowrie as the second largest community in Webster County.
"We have that really nice small-town feel," she said.
She said there are several goals the community is continuing to work on; money became available for a housing rehabilitation grant for improving local homes.
"Several homes were able to use that," she said.
She's also proud of the addition to Prairie Valley High School that provides additional room and the new welcome signs that will be installed on the entrance to town along Iowa Highway 175.
While many small communities have had problems retaining their younger population, she said that Gowrie offers enough that they are able to keep them.
Heather Fisher, the owner of the Kids Palace day care center, has dozens of small children that offer evidence of that.
"We're full," she said.
Even after expanding the center last year, she's considering opening another location to meet the demand.
She said she often takes advantage of the recreation opportunities offered in the community and often takes her young charges on field trips; she said it helps with their social development.
She holds the community in high esteem.
"This is a wonderful place to raise your kids," she said.