Baldwin pool opens season with new look
It's time to pull out the swimsuits and sunscreen.
The Baldwin City Public Pool opens for the summer at noon Saturday, the traditional Memorial Day weekend start to the swimming season.
The pool will have a bit of a new look this year to go along with some new activities, according to Jamie Peterson, Baldwin City Recreation Commission recreation specialist.
"We're planning on doing a lot of new things," she said.
Probably one of the most apparent changes, she said, is the pool's hours of operation. This summer, the pool will be open from noon to 7 p.m. daily, with swim lessons and water aerobics from 7 to 8 p.m.
In the past, the pool would close midway through the day for lessons and aerobics and re-open later in the afternoon. Peterson said the change in hours was done to make things less confusing to pool patrons.
"This just keeps it a little more consistent," she said.
The pool will still be available for parties at 8 p.m.
She said the pool is also under new management this summer. Heather Beem, from Gardner, will be the manager, assisted by Berend Koops and Yancy Richards.
Peterson said Beem, who has had several years of pool management experience, is trained in both Red Cross and Ellis styles of life guarding. Peterson said Baldwin requires Red Cross, but Beem's Ellis experience will also be beneficial.
"It's a lot stricter than Red Cross, so it should be a good thing to have," she said.
The life guards will also receive additional training throughout the year, she said, with exercises known as white cap drills. Peterson said once a week during pool hours, volunteers will act as if they need assistance from the guards. The guards, she said, who will not know the volunteers are part of the drill, will be able to react as if it were a real-life situation.
"The training method will be implemented so the public can gain confidence in the guards, and the guards can gain confidence in themselves," she said.
The pool will have a little different look this year as well. Earlier this spring, Pebble Tec was laid in the zero-depth entry area and under the slide, which will provide better traction for swimmers and cut down on maintenance costs.
Peterson said new flooring was installed from the entry way into the bathrooms for additional traction, decreasing the danger of wet floors.
Some of the changes implemented at the pool this year will be fun for everyone involved. She said family fun nights have been added to the schedule.
Once a month, the pool will be open from 8 to 10 p.m. for families who, for a small admission, can participate in games and eat food during the themed fun nights.
As usual, the pool will also sponsor its Memorial Day celebration Monday with free admission and games, and its annual July 4 celebration.
Peterson said she hoped the changes would make the pool enjoyable for the whole family.
"We just want to create a fun, but really safe atmosphere for everyone," she said.