By Karlene Skretting
Westwind Weekly News
With it shaping up to be a hot summer, local pools are gearing up for a busy 2015 season. Though each of the respective communities has different public swim hours and pool features to offer, the pool staff are all looking forward to a fun and safe summer full of sunshine, cannonballs and swimming lessons.
The Raymond Aquatic Centre opened on June 1 and saw a busy first day thanks to 20-plus degree weather, credited Rebecca Gorner, Raymond pool supervisor.
Over the last few weeks the Raymond pool has done quite a few renovations, noted Gorner, including painting, new shower taps, refinishing a lot of the wood work in the building and expanding the patron grass seating area by moving back the fence.
The Raymond Aquatic Centre includes a Jr. Olympic outdoor six lane pool, spray park, two waterslides, a climbing wall and two diving boards. A concession will be available come mid June, depending on the weather.
“I think we will see a lot of traffic, especially because they are still working on the Henderson Pool, I think we will get Lethbridge people too.”
For June public swim hours will be 3:30 – 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 12 – 7 p.m. on Saturday.
Swimming lesson registration opened online June 1 and as of Wednesday people could register in person at the pool as well. Interested individuals are encouraged to register early to avoid disappointment.
The Raymond Aquatic Centre will remain open until Labour Day (Sept. 7). Rates can be found on the Town website and in the most recent Leisure Guide.
“We are just excited for people to come and enjoy our facility, have a lot of fun and be safe, “ said Gorner.
The Magrath Pool is scheduled to be open daily between June 9 and August 28.
“After a successful Sunday afternoon swim last year, council received positive feedback and decided to keep the pool open again on Sunday for the community,” said Wayne Quinton, Town of Magrath parks and recreation foreman.
The Town tracked pool attendance closely last year so that they could see how many people were actually using the pool on different days of the week. Based on patron attendance, broken down per hour that the pool was open, the Magrath Pool was actually busier on Sundays than Saturdays, explained Quinton.
Currently the pool is filled and ready to go, staff are just waiting to get results and approval from Alberta Health who came out to independently test the water on Wednesday.
The Magrath pool features a five lane, 25 meter outdoor swimming pool, a one meter diving board, water basketball hoop and a kiddie pool.
A lot of painting has recently been done to make the pool more inviting, including a coat on the diving board to make it less slippery and the kiddie pool now features a Little Mermaid painting.
The biggest thing people will notice at the Magrath Pool this year will be the upgraded change rooms that include new toilets, sinks, showers and mirrors.
For June the Magrath Pool’s public swim hours will be 3:45 – 7:50 p.m Monday through Thursday, noon to 7:50 p.m. Friday, noon to 5:50 Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Swimming lesson registration opens June 9 with families encouraged to contact the pool early to get the time slots that are most convenient to fit their schedule.
Magrath residents will be able to enjoy free public swimming, every second and fourth Saturday from 12 p.m. to 5:50 p.m., thanks to the generous sponsorship of Edwards & Edwards Public Accountants, Leisel’s Buns & More, Schneyder Harvesting and Summit Electrical Solutions Inc.
The local businesses saw the value and the increased participation in the public skating they sponsored at the arena and decided to offer the same opportunity to individuals at the pool.
Quinton’s goal for 2015 is to improve pool attendance by getting people excited about the changes and getting people to visit the pool that haven’t ever been there or haven’t attended for a long time.
The Magrath Pool information can be found in the new 2015 Leisure Guide which is anticipated to be distributed within the next few days.
The Stirling Pool was unable to be reached for comment, but the Village of Stirling Office said that the pool is scheduled to open June 22 and that 2015 rates and schedules can be found on the town website in the upcoming days.