Sarpy County Local News

$10 million project sponsored with ARPA money the change the look of Omaha parks

OMAHA, Nebraska – At a time of year when the ice skating rink at Hitchcock Park in Omaha might be the focal point of interest, the city has shifted its focus to the pool and the world-famous diving board there instead. All of this is a part of the plan to use the ten million dollars in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARPA) funding that the city of Omaha has set aside for parks and other public property.

According to Matt Kalcevich, head of Omaha’s Parks and Recreation Department, “We’ll be taking away the high dive, which has been inoperable or out of function I think for some years now.” “We are going to put in some new elements, and in preparation for that, we are analyzing what could be the greatest fit there in terms of a diving board, a rock wall, and other things that I know other young people have seen in other facilities throughout the community and the country.”

It is true that the 32-foot-tall diving platform with three levels will be removed. Trespassers who had entered the property illegally had to be rescued from the swimming pool this past summer because of its high perch, which was sometimes the focal point of late-night shenanigans that turned perilous.

According to Kalcevich, “Safety is our number one priority, and we probably will do some things because we have to take a piece of it down in order to perform the job.” “I would suggest that you replace the fence with something that is, in my opinion, going to be a little bit more fashionable, a little bit more useful, and possibly a little bit more secure.”

To bring numerous pools, including the one that is 46 years old, as well as the swim facility, up to date, the total plan includes improvements to the infrastructure as well as the level of safety.

“Other facilities like Mandan Park, Pipal Park, we’ve got (James F.) Lynch Park and numerous others that are going to see real, noticeable, tangible transformation,” he added. “We’ve got (James F.) Lynch Park and several others that are going to see real, noticeable, tangible transformation.” “It was really the purpose of the project, really working within the parameters, (to see) how could we make people’s lives better, how could we make it more accessible, and what could we do to just truly sustain the (good) life for the community,” said the project’s manager.

Hitchcock is the only pool of the city’s 18 aquatic facilities that is the size of an Olympic pool. It first opened its doors in 1970 and is frequently utilized for practices by club and school swim teams. It was said by Kalcevich that they are collaborating with the aforementioned organizations to assist in the discovery of alternatives until 2024, when it is hoped that the Hitchcock Pool would reopen following extensive renovations.

The municipal council was presented with a dozen different park proposals for ARPA funding at the beginning of November, and Hitchcock was just one of them. On Tuesday, the city council will consider whether or not to give its blessing to the expenditure of somewhat more than 1.5 million dollars of cash for the Hitchcock, Mandan, and Papal Park projects.

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