To our Holland community
January 10, 2019
From: Jack Huisingh, Executive Director
Holland Community Aquatic Center (HCAC)
With their eyes on the future, the Holland Community Aquatic Center Board took action at its regular Board Meeting on January 10 to ask for voter approval on May 7 for a 20-year renovation and construction bond proposal.
- All seven community trustees on the Board voted unanimously to place the proposal on the May 7 ballot.
- The last renovation and construction bond proposal for HCAC was 20 years ago (1998). The pool was originally constructed in 1968.
- The Board’s proposal is a 1.25 mill request, and if approved by voters, will raise approximately $26 million.
- All voters residing with the Holland Public School boundaries are eligible to vote
- The building bond funds are needed to address the general aging of the community pool’s facilities (major life cycle replacements and upgrades) as well as address the pool’s three primary aquatic program needs:
– enhanced and expanded aquatic safety instruction
– enhanced and expanded recreation and fitness
– enhanced and expanded team training and competitions
“It’s exciting,” said Jack Huisingh, executive director of the HCAC. “Our future vision for the pool is anchored in serving Every Age. Every Family. Every Day. Our renovation and construction bond proposal will help us achieve this goal.”
“We want to serve our community with efficiency and effectiveness and be financially strong for the next 20 years,” said Sara Geisler, HCAC Board Chair. “Thanks to the ongoing support of our community since day one in1968, our pool is now one of our region’s premier attractions and water-based educational program providers.”
Board member Ron Hemmeke noted several factors for the Aquatic Center’s historically high support in the Holland community.
“The pool’s programs have touched so many people,” Hemmeke said. “It represents a unique partnership – one that’s the envy of many other communities – and it also represents or shared commitment to high standards, quality without frills, and effectively providing valuable services across all walks of life to our increasingly diverse community.”
“Clearly, we have to find a way to serve more children, families, student athletes, and a growing number of health-conscious users,” said Board member Wendy Willoughby. “As fantastic as our pool is, time has now caught up with it. We’d be poor stewards indeed to sit back and rely on band-aid measures to address our future challenges. Our community expects long-term solutions, not shaky quick-fixes.”
Matthew Van Zetten, Board member and HCAC treasurer, agreed with Willoughby.
“Good planning doesn’t mean ignoring the real-world problems you have coming down the road and then potentially incur more costs later as a result.” he said. “The building bond proposal is prudent and visionary. It will transform our future challenges into future opportunities – all to the benefit of our entire community.”
“We will never take the support of our taxpayers and residents for granted,” expressed Executive Director Huisingh. “In May of last year, voters approved the renewal of our five-year operating millage by more than 80%. The renewal kept our day-to-day operating budget in the black. The 20-year renovation and construction bond request approved for the May 7 ballot is different. It’s all about our pool’s future.”