Final Touches Make Tosa Pool Ready for the Plunge
Pool at Hoyt Park will be warm Saturday even if the weather isn't.
As of Thursday morning, the forecast for Saturday was 70 degrees and sunny. But by noon, it had changed to 64 and overcast with a chance of showers.
Not to worry. The water in the brand-new Tosa Pool at Hoyt Park should be warm enough to make you forget this chilly spring and look forward to summer days.
The pool is filled, the heat is on, and Wauwatosa's new star attraction will open on schedule Saturday at 11 a.m. for the general public and 10 a.m. for members.
"We started filling it Friday, and I think it was full sometime Sunday," said Tami Schlickman, executive director of the Friends of Hoyt Park & Pool, the group that organized a successful $8 million campaign to rebuild the pool.
"We're heating it, and our target is 80 to 84 degrees," she said early Thursday afternoon. "It's not coming up as quickly as we'd hoped with this cold wind blowing over it. I think it's in the low 70s. But we'll get there."
The lifeguard crew was putting together chairs, workers were still busy hooking up security cameras, caulking the deck, installing soda and slushie machines in the concession stands, and a dozen or more other little chores. But by and large, the pool is functional and ready for fun.
Inside the bath house, Wauwatosa artist and artisan Betsy Peckenpaugh was applying a final coat of paint on counter tops and anxiously trying to keep people from messing up the finish she had already put on a set of doors.
"This isn't my favorite thing, doing faux brass," she said. "I'm proudest of the color scheme I chose. I think it really sets up the room."
That room will liven up with a crowd of people Friday night for the first time since the pool closed in 2003 as the Friends host a private gala banquet to celebrate opening weekend. On hand will be County Executive Chris Abele and Parks Director Sue Black, as well as John and Tashia Morgridge, the principal donors to the pool.
The bath house, a Works Progress Administration structure from the Depression, has been completely refurbished and modernized with extreme care to preserve its classic qualities. But, of course, the big attraction is the pool itself.
It begins with a broad zero-depth entry for the little ones in an area surrounding a large play structure. That area goes to no more than 2 feet deep.
Next on the agenda for slightly older children is the slide, a big blue spiral of excitement.
Tweens, teens and adults can either frolic or work out in an area that can include up to eight lap lanes or can be opened up just for fun and games. Two lap lanes are dedicated full time.
That area is shared at one end with the dive pool, where two boards offer acrobatic entry into 12-1/2 feet of water.
And there is a sand play area for tykes who don't want to stay in the water. It can only be entered and exited past a shower stand where sand can be washed off to keep it out of the pool.
Sun shades are everywhere, and three tented areas can be used casually or rented for group affairs.
Hours throughout this weekend are the same as Saturday's opening: entry at 10 a.m. for members, 11 a.m. for non-members, closing at 5 p.m.
For regular season hours, prices, supervision requirements, facility rentals and parties, please visit this page.
If you've already signed up as a member, there is still a chance to stop by and get your picture taken for your membership card from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday.