COLDWATER, MI (WTVB) - Flanked by members of his family and classmates from the Coldwater High Class of 1942, Dr Robert Browne overturned the ceremonial first shovelful of dirt to start the process of building a new aquatic center on ground adjacent to Legg Middle School in Coldwater Wednesday morning. The $12.5-million project also includes an addition to the Heritage Independence Recreation Gymnasium. The endeavor was announced in December when Dr. Robert Browne and his late wife Lynn revealed their $11-million donation to fund the project that will include a state of the art aquatic center with an eight lane competitive pool, separate warm water zero entry therapy pool, spectator seating, locker rooms and community rooms. The facility will be designed with the latest in energy saving green technology.
The gift from Dr. Browne will also mean the Heritage Independence Recreation Gymnasium will more than double in size. It will include a multi-purpose floor that will be usable for basketball, volleyball, tennis, soccer and other community activities. The facility will also include an indoor walking track and community rooms.
In 2002, Dr. Brown was responsible for donating funds to build the Henry L. Brown Municipal building in Coldwater. It was named after his grandfather who had served on the City Council from 1938-1942. Dr. Browne, a 1942 graduate of Coldwater high school, became an orthodonist after attending dental school at the University of Michigan and went on to become a successful businessman and philanthropist in Grand Rapids.