Staying cool at the pool

Published 10:04 am Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Albert Lea Aquatic Center buzzed with excitement Monday afternoon, as temperatures swelled into the 80s. -- Rebekah Dyvig/Albert Lea Tribune

By Rebekah Dyvig, staff writer

A new chairlift and a special day are making the Albert Lea city pool more accessible to elderly swimmers.

The pool was renovated last year before opening day, so this year there were no major renovations that had to be done. However, the pool did install a chairlift for swimmers who are unable to use the ladder or ramp to get into the pool.

A chairlift was installed this year to assist people who are unable to use the ramp or ladder to get in the pool.

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The pool has added a new program this year — Grandparents Day. Every Monday one grandparent can get into the pool for free with a paid swimmer throughout the summer.

Everyone has to pay to go to the pool, even if they are not going to swim so having Grandparents Day gives grandparents a chance to go to the pool but not have to pay, said Jenny Davis, the program supervisor for the Albert Lea Parks and Recreation Department.

“It’s nice being able to come watch my great-grandchildren swim,” Gloria Ugland said.

Ugland took her great-grandchildren to the pool on Monday and did not know about Grandparents Day until she went to pay and did not have to pay for herself.

The pool opened for the season Saturday, but Monday was the busier day.

“This is the busiest day this year,” lifeguard and manager Brittany Meuser said on Monday.

The temperature was warmer than on Saturday, and more people went to cool off, she said.

Elijah Velarde comes splashing down the water slide at the pool Monday. He said his favorite thing at the pool is the slide.

The pool is overseen by a staff of certified lifeguards, who are always on the lookout for swimmers and making sure everyone is safe.

“I like watching all of the kids have fun,” Meuser said.

The pool offers a number of programs for all ages throughout the season.

Two Dollar Tuesdays run for the entire summer, offering families a discount rate. Each person over 2 years old pays $2, and 2 years and under are $1 including tax.

Pool Crashers is an event for teenagers. The first Pool Crasher will be this Thursday, the other scheduled dates are July 5 and Aug. 9. Pool Crashers is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. for only $1.

There will be one Free Swim Day funded by the Freeborn County Partners in Prevention. The Free Swim Day will be July 21.

Splash With Me is a program for children ages 6 months to 3 years. This is a chance for young children to get used to the water. Splash With Me is every Tuesday from 10:15 to 11 a.m. June 19 through Aug. 14 and costs $20 for in town and $25 for out of town. The fee includes one adult and one child.

Play Day at the Pool is scheduled for July 6 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. KQPR-FM will broadcast live, and there will be games and prizes for children.

Other programs offered at the pool are water aerobics, doggie dip and swim lessons.

“Everyone should come out and enjoy a day at the pool,” Davis said.

Public swimming hours
Weekdays: 1 to 6 p.m.
Weekends: 1 to 7 p.m.

Daily admission
Children 2 and under: $1.25 each
13-17 year olds: $3.25 each
18 and older: $3.50 each