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Aquatic Center dedicated

By Staff | Aug 5, 2008

It was 51 years ago that the City of Armstrong built its swimming pool just across the street from the public school at a cost of $50,000. On Sunday, the city dedicated a new pool built at a cost of $800,000.

The pool was built only after an enormous fund-raising effort that brought in more than $300,000 for the community of just under 1,000. Key contributors included GKN which pledged $75,000 over a five-year period, area banks and the Emmet County Community Foundation.

Present at the dedication were pool employees and city officials. Jon Larsen, city councilman, offered the following remarks at the pool dedication.

Swimming pool: A structure, often a concrete-lined excavation of rectangular shape, that is filled with water and used for swimming.

These are two very simple words. Swimming and pool. Add a few others, such as new, bigger and warmer, and you have a group of people, joined by a common purpose and goal, that accomplished something great. It is a symbol to our young people that we care about them and their lives and their futures.

The Armstrong Aquatic Center would not have been built if its people had simply said, “We’ll just go to Estherville or Fairmont.” It would not have been built if the council hadn’t had faith in the citizens to come forward to help. It would not have been built if the corporations and foundations in and around Armstrong hadn’t seen the potential and value of making Armstrong even better. It would not have been built if that group of pool committee members had said, “We don’t have time to do it.” It might not even have been built if the engineers and contractors had said, “It’s not a big enough project for us.”

But it has been built. And it’s a beauty.

Thanks go out to everyone who had a hand in making this very special project see its finish.