WYANDOTTE - The chant "we want a pool" filled the air as children from the Eastern Shawnee Tribe's Early Childhood Center ran into the ground breaking ceremony for the tribe's newest venture - an aquatic center.

The ceremony, which took place on Thursday, May 11, brought together Eastern Shawnee Chief Glenna Wallace and members of the business committee for the formal groundbreaking on the tribe's Highway 10-C Complex. 

The aquatic center, funded by an $80,000 HUD Indian Community Development Block Grant, will be connected to the west end of the tribe's Wellness Center. 

It will include a large swimming pool, a warm water therapeutic pool and a whirlpool tub as well as an indoor walking track.

The pool and walking track, located next door to the tribe’s elder complex, which will enable those individuals who suffer from arthritis, join pain and muscle aches as well as diabetes and obesity to benefit from the therapy pool.

The pool, also located next to the Early Childhood Center and Wallace said she was excited about the opportunity to offer swim lessons to the youth.

“I wasn’t even thinking about children when I first was thinking of a pool,” she said said. “I was thinking about adults. I was thinking about aerobics.

“Then, when we had the children it just all came together."

Wallace said the Eastern Shawnee Tribe will be the only tribe in the Four-State Area offering a therapy pool for aquatic therapy.

She said this is a growing need in the area. The pool will be open to everyone, regardless of tribal membership. It will be free for tribal members and available for a nominal cost for non members. 

Tribal officials awarded the construction and design work contract to Branco Enterprises, in Neosho, Missouri. Construction is set to begin in June and expected to be completed by Oct. 31 2017.