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Aquatic Center More Than Just A Pool

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By Joe Foreman, Editor

It’s not your grandfather’s swimming pool. Or  even your father’s pool, for that matter.

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The $4.75 million aquatic center being proposed for Glenwood is a swimming pool and more. Much more.

Yes, the project does include a six-lane, 25-meter competition pool, but there’s also a zero-depth entry children’s play area, a “lily pad” water walk, lazy river, low and high diving boards and sail shades for those who want to soak up the atmosphere without getting a sunburn.

“We think it’s a facility that can be a destination for families,” Glenwood Aquatic Center Committee spokesperson Maddi Sieck said.

Glenwood residents have been without an outdoor swimming pool for nearly a decade. The old facility on North Elm Street, which was leveled earlier this year, was your classic 1950s-1960s-style pool - a shallow end, a deep end and a diving board.

Ironically, Sieck said, the competition pool area of the aquatic center is the focal point of the project.

“We had competition in mind when we set up the lay of the property,” Sieck said. “The plan is to make it as competition -friendly as possible.”

Sieck and her fellow aquatic center committee members envision Glenwood hosting youth swimming meets during the summer. A grassy area adjacent to the pool and portable bleachers would provide seating for spectators.

Depth of the lap lanes would be 4 feet on the shallow end and 5 feet on the deeper end.
Of course, the deepest part of the pool would be the diving well area - 12 feet, 6 inches.

“There’s a high board and low board,” Sieck noted. “The boards are much safer than some of the older ones people are used to. The stairs have railings and there’s railings going out almost to the edge of the boards.”

Children and adults will be able to utilize the zero-depth entry into the pool. A children’s area, with depths up to 3 feet, could include  a small slide.

The water walk, also designed for children, will be nearby. Children walk from one pad to another with the option of utilizing an overhead net to help keep their balance. The water depth at the water walk would be 3 feet, 6 inches.

“This is something you get a huge bang for your buck,” Sieck said. “Kids will play on it for hours.”

The lazy river is a feature popular with children and adults alike. Separate from the pool itself, it will also have zero-depth entry. Flotation tubes will be available for those who want to simply drift with the current. Some may opt to walk the 500-foot, jet-propelled river.

The lazy river would be the first of its kind in the region.

“With pools we talked to in the area, the lazy river was the one thing they regret not putting in,” Sieck said. “In 10 years, all the other pools are going to have a lazy river.”

The lazy river would also have a water depth of 3 feet, 6 inches.One of the major priorities to come out of a survey conducted by the aquatic center committee earlier this year was the need for some shaded areas. Plans call for two large sail shades and several shade tents on the grounds.

“A lot of pools designed in the ‘50s and ‘60s didn’t have a lot of deck and shade areas,” Sieck said. “The shade areas are the No. 1 thing requested in the survey.”

A picnic area is also in the plans, but could be utilized down the road as a location for a water slide, a feature not included in the current proposal.

Other highlights of the plan include a concession stand that will also be available for soccer games taking place on nearby fields and a bathhouse near the main entrance. The locker rooms being built as part of the auxiliary gymnasium at Glenwood Community High School will also be available to aquatic center patrons. One of the exterior walls of the gymnasium has been identified as a potential place to show outdoor movies or videos.

Sieck said the possibilities for the facility are limitless.

“The design makes a perfect venue for private parties,” she said.
Sieck noted the design of the aquatic center includes additional parking spaces that could also be utilized for soccer games.

Glenwood residents are encouraged to attend a town hall meeting to learn more about the specifics of the aquatic center proposal Thursday, May 1, at 6:30 p.m., at City Hall.