Who We Are
The Veterans Memorial Pool Campaign (VMPC) is a group of community members who have been working together to champion the renovation of the historic La Crosse Municipal Pool as Veterans Memorial Pool, a 21st-century neighborhood aquatic center welcoming to all ages and abilities.
The VMPC is a project of La Crosse Neighborhoods, Inc.—a registered charitable 501c3 organization.
We invite you to join us in our cause: the rebirth and re-imagining of the Veterans Memorial Pool.
To support the renovation of Veterans Memorial Pool in order to promote health, lifesaving skills, neighborhood revitalization, and heritage as an investment in the future of our community.
In light of critical needs and competing projects, the City of La Crosse and the VMPC have formed a public-private partnership. The city has approved the design, allocated $3.138 million in funding, awarded a construction contract, and begun construction with a scheduled completion date of July 2019.
Campaign Steering Committee
- Sue Bluske
- Kate Escher
- Nora Garland
- Mike Lemmon
- Chau Nguyen
- Kristin Trohkimoinen
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the Veterans Memorial Pool (VMP)?
Veterans Memorial Pool is located at 1901 Campbell Rd. in La Crosse, WI. As La Crosse’s first public pool, built and established in 1938, it has served millions of users and gone by many names over the years, including: Municipal Pool, Munis’, Veterans Pool, and Memorial Pool.
2. What is the Veterans Memorial Pool Campaign (VMPC)?
The VMP Campaign is a project of La Crosse Neighborhoods, Inc. a 501(c)3 not-for-profit. Contributions are tax deductible to the extent of the law, as with all charitable gifts.
The campaign is community-based and completely led by volunteers. Several local organizations have rallied behind this cause including the Historic Preservation Commission; the Ho-Chunk Nation; La Crosse Community Foundation; residents of Bluffside, Downtown, Grandview Emerson, Hintgen, Holy Trinity, Lower Northside, Weigent, and Washburn neighborhoods; and numerous volunteers, local businesses, organizations, and institutions.
3. What is the relationship between the City of La Crosse and the Veterans Memorial Pool Campaign?
The City of La Crosse has allocated $3.138 million in funding and begun construction with a scheduled completion date in the summer of 2019. Concurrent with this effort, the VMPC is committed to raising $500,000 in funds that will go directly for construction, equipment, and amenities necessary to complete the project. Because the city has many priorities such as fire stations, park maintenance, the convention center, and roads, borrowing for capital improvements is limited. Public-private partnerships, where citizens make informed decisions to invest in the priorities they see in their own communities, are becoming increasingly common. Like other successful collaborations such as with the Rotary Club for Kids Coulee at Myrick Park and the Riverside Park Bandshell, the VMP project benefits from citizen involvement and financial contributions.
4. Why is the City renovating Veterans Memorial Pool?
The city decided to reopen an updated VMP in 2019 because of its location in the heart of our city, its rich history, and its potential as a community resource. In the three years since its closure, the pool has been sorely missed, and the community needs a facility that better serves all ages and abilities of people.
5. What is the design of the new VMP?
The renovated VMP will be a one-of-a-kind facility that will complement, not duplicate, other area pools in La Crosse and in our region. Over the last two years the community has weighed in on several designs. The resulting concept by the city incorporates a historically renovated bath house, a new pool focused on swimming (not like a waterpark), and modern deck amenities in an up-to-date facility for people of all ages and abilities.
The final design images, elevations, and descriptions of programs and features are available on the website, www.memorialpool.org, and by request. It is also easy to simply stop by and see the construction progress more and more every day.
6. Why is Veterans Memorial Pool a historic place?
VMP was designated by the City Heritage Preservation Commission as a landmark for its contributions to the history, heritage, and culture of the City of La Crosse, the County of La Crosse, the State of Wisconsin and the United States. It occupies the ancestral land of the Ho-Chunk people, the prior La Crosse County Fairgrounds, and resides in the current Veterans Memorial Field. The facility was a project of both the Public Works and Works Progress Administrations, and it embodies distinguishing characteristics of an inherently valuable specimen for its time period. Lastly, it exemplifies the broad cultural, political, economic, and social history of our community.
7. How will this project benefit La Crosse area residents?
The new VMP will…
- become part of a network of regional facilities for athletics, all ages and abilities programming, swim instruction, fitness, therapy, diving, and recreation.
- offer another venue for swimming lessons and other safety programs, especially important given our proximity to the Mississippi River.
- have heated water, allowing young children, adults with painful conditions, and others who cannot easily tolerate cold to enjoy outdoor swimming on chilly days.
- have up to 8 swimming lanes, once again establishing this pool’s popularity with lap swimmers.
- offer deck and grounds improvements that will attract users to “make a day of it.”
- create a safe, supervised, summer gathering place for city youth.
- provide our diverse center-city population–29,000 people living within 1.5 miles of VMP–access by foot, bike, or bus.
- restore a community asset with appeal to potential residents, contributing to the stability of surrounding neighborhoods.
8. How can I help?
The campaign team welcomes your assistance through a variety of ways:
- Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 608-492-4392 to add your name to our list of volunteers;
- Say “Yes” to a campaign volunteer who reaches out to share information with you or invites you to a VMPC event;
- Inform the VMPC about grants, additional funding sources, or corporate sponsorships;
- Host or assist with upcoming events;
- Help spread the word by sharing campaign materials with your family and friends;
- Raise funds and support for the campaign by taking donations at your next craft/art exhibit, bbq, concert, book club, or lemonade stand.
9. What are the ways to give money or make a pledge to VMPC?
- Donations of any amount are welcome and can made by cash, check, PayPal, or credit card.
- Return a completed pledge form, available online or through a campaign volunteer.
- Mail your contribution to Veterans Memorial Pool Campaign, PO Box 1661, La Crosse, WI 54602
- Submit your secure gift online at www.memorialpool.org/donate.
- Call our campaign at 608-492-4392 to talk to a live person.
With the help of more people, the heavy task becomes an easy lift.
Thank you for supporting Veterans Memorial Pool and aquatic opportunities for all!
- Percent of Fundraising Goal Achieved 83% 83%