|A young man deals with water in his eyes while two others smile and talk just after the Helper pool officially opened last Saturday, Even though the pool has been used by residents for a few weeks, its official grand opening came with the completion of the snack bar and some of the physical facilities that weren't quite finished.|
Two years ago, Helper residents wondered if the city's old condemned swimming pool would ever be replaced.
But a group of citizens and city officials launched an aggressive campaign for private donations and various grants to fund a new swimming pool project.
Last Saturday, the new pool that stands where the old one that served the community for more than 60 years had its grand opening.
"This pool is the realization of a lot of work by a lot of people," said Helper Mayor Mike Dalpiaz. "But the committee that got it started and went forward with their idea is the reason it exists today."
During 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 city's swimming pool project was privately donated.
But grants from the Utah Permanent Community Impact Board along with financial assistance from the Carbon County Recreation and Transportation Special Service District made the new facility a reality.
Members of the two boards were on hand to participate in the grand opening.
After the opening ceremonies, the pool filled with people, mostly children, and the city served free drinks along with hot dogs from the city's new concession stand.
While the pool had been open for a few weeks before Saturday's activities, the project was not complete.
The boiler that heats water was not running, the concession stand was not operating and a few other details had to be added before the Helper swimming pool could officially open.
"And we aren't done yet," commented Dean Armstrong, the Helper councilmember who is overseeing the city's project. "These fences that surround the pool will be pushed back because we will have lawn installed this fall on the dirt that is now there. We also plan on building a picnic pavilion."
|A family celebrates the grand opening of the Helper Pool on Saturday.|
The pool can accommodate up to 404 swimmers and boasts a one-of-a-kind toddler play splash area.
In addition, the facility is equipped with a slide suitable for persons with disabilities, two one meter diving boards, a slide in the main pool, family dressing rooms along with traditional areas for men and women and a full-service concession stand.
The facility is ADA compliant.
Entrance fees at the Helper pool vary with the age of the swimmers.
Seasonal individual passes for adults, children, and seniors are also available.
The pool will be open seven days a week during the swimming season.
The city plans to provide swimming lessons, water safety classes, competitive swimming and diving, adult lap swimming, and water aerobics at the facility.
"There's a lot more to come, too," stated Armstrong. "Soon we will have deck furniture including picnic tables, umbrellas, and chaise lounges for people to use.
"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 to officials from the committees that provided the funding.
"We just want to thank everyone who had anything to do with helping us build this new pool," said Dalpiaz. "The county and Price city helped us out in a number of ways, not to mention all the private help we got from citizens in various places around the area."