The Dubuque Community School District and the Dubuque Area Swimmin’ Hurricanes (DASH) will join forces to expand the district’s newly planned competition pool while providing a new home to DASH swimmers. The intent to partner was announced at the September 11 meeting of the district’s Facilities and Support Services Committee of the Board of Education.

The proposed partnership would provide DASH with a 25-year rental of the pool during non-district times in exchange for $1 million to cover the cost of expanding the pool’s footprint to 75 feet. In order for the partnership to move forward, DASH intends to raise its funding commitment through philanthropic support from its members and swimming supporters in the community prior to construction bidding of the project. A formal agreement for the partnership will be presented to the Board of Education for approval at an upcoming meeting. The district’s new pool is currently in the design phase, with total project completion anticipated in fall 2019.

“This partnership is a great way to enhance the district’s pool while providing expanding access to a community group that is an integral part of the swimming community in Dubuque,” said Superintendent of Schools Stan Rheingans. “DASH swimmers have used the competition pool at Hempstead in the past and the organization’s leadership came to the district with a strong desire to complement our project and a plan to support it.”

“Dubuque is in dire need of updated aquatic facilities throughout the community, and through this partnership, DASH swimmers will soon have access to a state-of-the-art modern facility,” said Doug Colin, head coach and team director of DASH. “We can’t wait to get swimming in what will be a beautiful facility.”

The competition pool currently serving the Dubuque Community School District and situated on the Hempstead High School campus, is antiquated and very near its end-of-life. The pool requires significant ongoing repair, is losing significant amounts of water each week, and no longer meets competition safety requirements. To address this problem, the Dubuque Community School District has allocated $7 million from One-Cent Sales Tax funds to provide for a pool solution and has long discussed the potential of a community partnership on the project.

“Community discussions around a replacement of the Hempstead pool have been underway for over half a decade and it is a great feeling to see the project coming to fruition,” said School Board Member Craig Beytien. “After we meet the district’s curricular and extracurricular needs, we would love nothing more than for the facility to be used by members of the broader community. This partnership will allow for just that in a way that provides a larger, more flexible pool facility for all using it.”