|A young man comes out of the slide at the Helper Pool on Wednesday, right after the facility opened to the public.|
For some the date of the new Helper Pool opening snuck up on them.
For others it was a long time coming.
"You realize it has been over two years since the old pool was shut down," said Bob Farrell who was the city councilman over that facility when it closed in April of 2005. "This is a good day."
The city was chomping at the bit to get the pool open and on Monday Helper City received certification from Carbon County building inspectors allowing the facility located at Helper City Park to open.
Certification from the Carbon County Department of Health had been received the previous week.
"We're very glad to have this pool open," said city councilman Dean Armstrong, who is in the position over the pools operation now. "This is a beautiful facility, something the community will enjoy for years to come."
The new pool replaces a building and cement pool that was built sometime in the 1940's. At the time of closure the old pool was leaking, the equipment to keep the water clean and disinfected was worn out and the building itself had some major problems.
Over the past two years a pool committee worked hard along with the city to get funding for a new pool. A lot of money for the pool was privately donated, but grants from the Community Impact Board and help from the Carbon County Recreation and Transportation Special Service District made the new facility a reality.
With a short interim to train lifeguards and staff, the pool opened on Wednesday at noon for the public. Kids flocked to the pool and began playing in the new water features immediately.
The swimming pool can accommodate up to 404 swimmers and boasts a one-of-a-kind toddler play splash area and slide also suitable for the disabled, two, one meter diving boards, a slide in the main pool, and family dressing rooms in addition to traditional areas for men and women, and a full service concession stand. The facility is ADA compliant.
Entrance fees vary with age. Children three and under are free, kids age four -15 are $3 per day, and adults age 16 and older are $4 per day. Daily fees cover entry to open swimming from noon to 5 p.m. and also include entry to evening and night swimming from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Seasonal family passes for two adults and up to four children to age 18 are available for $100. Seasonal individual passes for adults, children, and seniors are also available. The pool will be open seven days a week during the season.
Other activities planned for the new facility include swimming lessons, water safety classes, competitive swimming and diving, adult lap swim, and water aerobics.
Deck furniture including picnic tables, umbrellas, chaise lounges, and deck chairs will continue arriving over the next two weeks.
Although some landscaping and paving work remains to be completed, the work will be suspended until the pool closes for the season in September to avoid disturbing pool patrons.
"We are going to let the soil around the pool deck stabilize before we put any landscaping in," said Armstrong as he watched the kids play in the crystal clear water. "Besides if we did it now we would just get a lot of dust in the pool."
Armstrong showed off the sand/gravel filtration system and the disinfection unit saying proudly how they were state-of-the-art.
It was truly a happy day in Helper as at first the kids trickled into the pool. They played with the water features, riding the slides, enjoying the dual diving boards in the main pool and squirting each other with the hoses that hand in the middle of the play area.
Then about an hour later kids started to come down the streets toward the park, towels in hand, ready to get wet.
A formal public grand opening celebration for the pool is planned for later.
The telephone number for the pool is 472-0103 for more information.