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Locals flock to Dimond Park Aquatic Center’s grand opening

Posted: June 4, 2011 - 10:21pm
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Saturday's Grand Opening Party at the Dimond Aquatics Center was a success. According to Aquatics Manager Kathie Millhorn and Pool Manager Daniel Chase the pool has been operating to capacity during the limited openings the past few weeks. The full pool schedule begins today and can be reviewed at www.juneau.org/parkrec/dimondpark. Pool occupancy is 114 in the recreation pool and 101 in the lap pool for a total of 215. The pool and aquatics center has been so popular patrons have been put on a waiting list at the front desk. As part of Saturday's grand opening free cotton candy, hot dogs, beverages, and drawings were held in the Thunder Mountain High School lobby. Among the donators were Parks & Rec, ACS, Alaska USA Swimming, Glacier Swim Club, and Fred Myers.   Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire
Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire
Saturday's Grand Opening Party at the Dimond Aquatics Center was a success. According to Aquatics Manager Kathie Millhorn and Pool Manager Daniel Chase the pool has been operating to capacity during the limited openings the past few weeks. The full pool schedule begins today and can be reviewed at www.juneau.org/parkrec/dimondpark. Pool occupancy is 114 in the recreation pool and 101 in the lap pool for a total of 215. The pool and aquatics center has been so popular patrons have been put on a waiting list at the front desk. As part of Saturday's grand opening free cotton candy, hot dogs, beverages, and drawings were held in the Thunder Mountain High School lobby. Among the donators were Parks & Rec, ACS, Alaska USA Swimming, Glacier Swim Club, and Fred Myers.

The Dimond Park Aquatic Center celebrated a successful grand opening Saturday, with 863 visitors hitting the pool.

“We’ve had to turn people away because they didn’t show up early enough to get wristbands,” Pool Manager Daniel Chase said. “Some people even wanted to pay admission but (Saturday) was all free, and we only have 215 spots. We filled all 215 spots for our four main swims.

“It’s been a good day.”

Chase said most of the feedback from the community has been positive, with the biggest complaint being the 48-inch height requirement for the big water slide, a rule set by the manufacturing company.

“I haven’t heard too many people who are upset with it, so I’m pretty happy with that,” he said. “Most parents understand ... because it’s a national standard. It’s a safety thing from the manufacturer. The maximum safe height isn’t based on the slide itself, but the catch pool. The rider needs to be six inches taller than the depth of the water, which is 42 inches deep.”

The pool is open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, Saturdays from noon to 8 p.m., with lap swimming and classes from 9 a.m. to noon, and Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. Admission is $3.50 for kids under 8, $5 for kids 8-17, $6.25 for adults, and free for kids under 3 with an adult.

Admission is for a three-hour swim block. Blocks are preset for the summer: Noon, 3 and 6 p.m. on weekdays, noon and 4 p.m. on Saturday (a four-hour block), and noon and 3 p.m. on Sunday.

“We’ve set a pretty big parameter for the summer with our hours, and we may compress them some based on usage,” Chase said. “We’re staying open later to see if we have people that want to come to the pool. If we don’t have a large number of people come late in the evening, we may close earlier on weekdays.

“We gave our best guess as to what we think would be the most popular times,” he continued. “We want to make it as accessible as possible. If the community wants us to be open late, then people have to come out and show us that’s when they want to come.”

In addition to the recreation pool, the swimming pool is a 25-yard short course competition pool certified through USA Swimming, the national governing body for the sport of swimming in the United States.

“We have been certified so we can run state meets,” Chase said. “If they want to run the Alaska state championships, we can do that here.”

The pool also employs about 45 people, and Chase is looking to get that number up to 55 or 60.

“We’re still hiring and accepting applications,” he said. “You need a lot of lifeguards to keep the rec pool open and safe for everyone.”

Visit juneau.org/parkrec/DimondPark/index.php for more information on the facility.

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