A proposal to guarantee the opportunity for swimming lessons for all second graders in public schools combined with the lack of a public aquatic center drove S.C. Johnson’s decision to donate $6.5 million to Racine County for the construction of what is now the S.C. Johnson Community Aquatic Center at Pritchard Park. The funds were gifted to Racine County who hired an architect and contractor and prepared the land for construction. The grand opening was held about ten months later, on May 30th, 2018.
The Racine YMCA was tapped to manage the facility because of their experience operating aquatic centers. They were able to hire and train all of the lifeguards needed to provide a safe and fun environment throughout the summer. The Y’s “Safety Around Water” program was offered as the kick-off to the season, which assessed children’s swimming abilities and taught skills for water safety.
The facility has two separate pools, a bath house with changing areas and space for rent, and a concessions area with picnic tables. One pool features an eight lane, 25 yard competitive section with a ramped entrance. Attached is a deep water area with three slides and a climbing structure. The other pool features a zero-depth entrance, an interactive play area, and two slides. This area is also used for swimming lessons and water fitness classes.
The new aquatic center truly shows what is possible when public and private entities work together to benefit the community. The S.C. Johnson Aquatic center will provide family fun for years to come and it definitely helped make 2018 the “Best Summer Ever” in Racine County.