This exciting project is long overdue in our community. The vision for this facility is to incorporate the location and access to the school while at the same time providing a stand-alone community focused facility with its own identity separate from the school.

The first phase is to construct a 2 pool facility that can meet the needs for physical exercise, recreation and athletics for Rice Lake and the surrounding community. This will include a warm pool for recreation, exercise classes and therapy, including a slide, water play features, and also a cold competition pool for lap swimming, physical education and swimming/diving teams.

The second phase would be to renovate the current pool structure into multipurpose recreational space, including gymnasium, elevated walking track, and community rooms.

Pool History

The existing community pool facility was built in 1978 –it is now 40 years old. Major renovations are needed to enhance sustained ability, energy efficiency and our current pool space does not provide adequate ADA access, family changing areas, or ability to expand community recreation programming.

  • Mechanical electrical systems are failing, and require significant repairs.
  • ADA accessibility improvements for pool area and locker rooms
  • Family changing rooms need to meet current standards of privacy, safety and inclusivity.
  • Need to have separate locker room space to separate school/sport teams and public.

Community and Athletic programming

  • A warmer water zero entry pool for learn to swim programs, water aerobics, easier entry for elderly, and water therapy needs.
  • Water recreation areas for children, promoting year-round family activity. Plans include a slide and water play features.
  • A wet classroom/meeting room that can be used for water safety, instruction, lifesaving classes, groups and parties.
  • Competition pool that meets competitive swimming and diving standards, with seating area for 300-350 spectators.
  • Lap pool swimming for adult exercise and training.
  • Serve physical Education programs at elementary, middle and high school levels.
  • Extending the hours of operation for the public to utilize the space, and availability during training practice.

Facility Goals

Sustainability and energy efficiency initiatives

  • More energy efficient mechanical system that uses less water, less pool chemicals and less energy.
  • More energy efficient building that meets current energy code requirements.
  • Improved air exchange systems for circulation.
  • Sustainable design guidelines, recycled materials, locally sourced materials.

Health Benefit to the Community

The Rice Aquatics and Recreational Center aligns well with the current Barron County Health Department goals out lined in the Barron County Health improvement plan 2019-2021.

“Chronic Disease is a health priority in Barron County because the 2019 County Health rankings show that we have a higher rate of adulthood obesity than the state of Wisconsin. The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey shows our percentage of overweight students is also higher than the State. The presence of an excessive amount of body fat can increase the risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or other chronic diseases.

Chronic Disease Prevention Action Team works to prevent the onset of chronic disease by making the easy choice the healthy choice where people live, work and play. One of the major goals is to reduce obesity rates and increase physical activity in 2 to 5 year old children participating in WIC”

The Barron County Healthy Lifestyles Report is data compiled from the National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality.

  • Ranking below is out of 72 Wisconsin counties.
  • Health outcomes ranks 53
  • Adult obesity ranks 43
  • % of low-income preschoolers obese 14.1
  • Physical Environment ranks 46
  • Recreational facility per 10,000 people: 2
  • Socioeconomic rank 46

The Aquatics and recreation center will provide a year round space for exercise and healthy play that includes all ages and abilities is not otherwise not easily accessed in our area.