Trusted local news leader for Williams AZ and the Grand Canyon
Tue, Aug. 03

<b>Williams Aquatic Center schedules out public usage</b>

The excitement and anticipation surrounding the opening of the Williams Aquatic Center has turned into disappointment and frustration for many local youth who are having a hard time finding a time when they can swim.

Public swim times are limited to only an hour and a half late afternoons and only three evenings a week, making weekday swimming impossible for the many teens who have evening jobs at local restaurants. If someone wants to swim during both public swim times on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, they have to pay separately each time.

When local outdoor thermometers registered 90 degrees the other day at 1:30 p.m., Williams kids couldn’t escape the heat by going to the pool — that time is reserved Monday through Thursday for Ash Fork kids. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good that outlying communities can utilize the pool, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of Williams kids losing prime pool time.

The wide-range of activities offered at the aquatic center is good — lap swimming, lessons, family and public swim, but not much thought went into building a schedule around the main reason this community wanted a pool — namely our youth. Last Thursday night, there were two swimmers utilizing the lap swim time while two carloads of families with kids in their swimsuits were told the pool was closed to them.

Public swim times should be the main focus of a community pool. The community should be able to swim from 1-6 p.m. weekdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Currently, the pool is closed Sundays. Maybe a better day off would be Monday, since Sunday is a good day for families to swim together.

The aquatic center was carefully planned and kids were surveyed as to what they wanted in a community pool. A lot of time, effort and, of course, money went into the completion of this addition to our town. It’s a beautiful facility. It’s too bad that the same amount of careful thought and planning was omitted when considering why this was even built in the first place — as a recreational activity for our kids.

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