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Mon, Aug. 03

Williams Aquatic Center opens for summer season
Pool open Tuesday through Saturday, swim lessons, free swim, aerobics on tap

Williams Recreation Center Summer Rec program participants enjoy the cool of the Aquatic Center pool last summer. Ryan Williams/WGCN

Williams Recreation Center Summer Rec program participants enjoy the cool of the Aquatic Center pool last summer. Ryan Williams/WGCN

WILLIAMS, Ariz. - Williams Aquatic Center is now open for the season and aims to bring fun and learning opportunities to the entire community.

The pool opened last Saturday at 10 a.m. with a free swim day put on by the Friends of the Williams Aquatic Center. Snow cones were provided along with the free swim, which is one of four free swim days offered this year. Other free swim days include July 4, Aug. 8 and Sept. 5.

Williams Aquatic Center coordinator Michelle Walker said the pool is looking forward to another busy summer, filled with lots of fun and learning experiences that everyone can enjoy.

"There is lots and lots of fun and lots of lots of kids coming for swim lessons," she said. "We have Summer Rec that comes twice a week and Camp Civitan that comes once a week. We'll be busy for eight weeks straight, it will be fast paced and over before we can turn around."

Although the pool is closed on Sunday and Monday, from Tuesday to Saturday, the pool offers several activities including aerobics, lessons, lap swimming, and public swim hours. New this year is the cannonball corner, where kids can take turns jumping off of one of the diving blocks.

The Summer Rec Program and Camp Civitan have exclusive use of the pool during their scheduled times, from 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Swimming costs $1 for kids 7 and younger, $3 for students between 8 and 18 and seniors 55 and older, and $4 for adults between 19 and 54 and $10 for families.

People can also purchase a 10-punch pass this year for ten times the regular rate.

Season passes are also available for the May 27 to Aug. 9. The cost is $120 for students and seniors, $140 for adults and $200 per family.

"The punch passes, you buy 10 and they're good - even if you don't use them this year, they roll over every year," Walker said. "Basically it's the same price, it just makes it more convenient. The season passes are good for three months and you just come in and buy them, but they expire when the pool closes."

Swimming lessons start in June and will be available through August. Lessons cost $30 for an eight-lesson session and are scheduled on a first come first served basis.

The summer aerobics class is offered three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays between 3:30 to 9:30 p.m.

"I have a big aerobics class that comes and they range anywhere from mid-twenties to seventy years old," Walker said. "My classes get really big, I'll have anywhere from 20 to 30 people in a class."

Additionally, while regularly scheduled activities at the pool end August 8, a revised schedule for high school gym class and aerobic classes will be offered from August 11 and through September 5. Public swim days will also be offered on Friday and Saturday on those dates.

In the past, concerns for opening the pool included high water restrictions imposed by the city in 2014. The restrictions prohibited people from using potable water for irrigation or any reason other than for public health or emergencies. The restriction also prohibited people from refilling swimming pools.

However, in March, Williams City Council lifted water restrictions after a late winter storm filled city's reservoirs. While the pool remained opened through the water restrictions in 2014, not having to worry as much about water conservation is a relief for the pool and its advocates.

Friends of the Williams Aquatic Center, a community group that advocates to keep the pool open, is excited to offer the first free swim day of the year and said the city has done a lot to keep the pool available to the public.

"The city did a lot for water conservation last year," said Mike Dulay chairman of Friends of the Williams Aquatic Center. "For the most part the water pretty much stays in the pool, some evaporates, but it's really not that much."

In 2013, between the months of June through August, the Aquatic Center used around 54,000 gallons of water per month. Of that amount, about 8,000 gallons were used for refilling the pool while 46,000 gallons were used for disinfection/sanitization, showers and toilets.

Some water conservation measures implemented in 2014, by pool staff, included installing low flow showerheads in the showers.

"When water conservation really hit the town, the showers which, I think have 400 gallons of hot water available, what they ended up doing was putting flow restrictors in," Dulay said. "So that way they conserve more water when people used them and limited the amount of time."

Additionally, Dulay said the pool is extremely important to the town and hopes the community sees the benefits it provides and takes advantage of all it has to offer.

"For a lot of people swimming is the only form of exercise they can actually do," he said. "Because it is so low-stress on the body. If you're recovering from knee or hip surgery or any of one of those (types) of things, water exercise and aerobics that is the ideal way to recover. Not to mention, we want the kids to know how to swim."

According to Rose Neubold, Williams Recreation Center director, on average 83 people used the pool each day during the 2013 swim season for a total of 5,914 users for the summer.

Additionally, the pool has 10 lifeguards, consisting of college and high school age students.

"They are 21 years and younger," Walker said. "They only work eight weeks out of the whole year."

More information about pool activities is available from the Williams Aquatic Center at (928) 635-3005.

"There is lots and lots of fun and lots of lots of kids coming for swim lessons," she said. "We have Summer Rec that comes twice a week and Camp Civitan that comes once a week. We'll be busy for eight weeks straight, it will be fast paced and over before we can turn around."

Although the pool is closed on Sunday and Monday, from Tuesday to Saturday, the pool offers several activities including aerobics, lessons, lap swimming, and public swim hours. New this year is the cannonball corner, where kids can take turns jumping off of one of the diving blocks.

The Summer Rec Program and Camp Civitan have exclusive use of the pool during their scheduled times, from 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Swimming costs $1 for kids 7 and younger, $3 for students between 8 and 18 and seniors 55 and older, and $4 for adults between 19 and 54 and $10 for families.

People can also purchase a 10-punch pass this year for 10 times the regular rate.

Season passes are also available for May 27 to Aug. 9. The cost is $120 for students and seniors, $140 for adults and $200 per family.

"The punch passes, you buy 10 and they're good - even if you don't use them this year, they roll over every year," Walker said. "Basically it's the same price, it just makes it more convenient. The season passes are good for three months and you just come in and buy them, but they expire when the pool closes."

Swimming lessons start in June and take place through August. Lessons cost $30 for an eight-lesson session and are scheduled on a first come first serve basis.

The summer aerobics class is offered three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays between 3:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

"I have a big aerobics class that comes and they range anywhere from mid-twenties to seventy years old," Walker said. "My classes get really big, I'll have anywhere from 20 to 30 people in a class."

Additionally, while regularly scheduled activities at the pool end Aug. 8, a revised schedule for high school gym class and aerobic classes will be offered from Aug. 11 and through Sept. 5. Public swim days will also be offered on Friday and Saturday on those dates.

In the past, concerns for opening the pool included high water restrictions imposed by the city in 2014. The restrictions prohibited people from using potable water for irrigation or any reason other than for public health or emergencies. The restriction also prohibited people from refilling swimming pools.

However, in March, the Williams City Council lifted water restrictions after a late winter storm filled city's reservoirs. While the pool remained open through the water restrictions in 2014, not having to worry as much about water conservation is a relief for advocates of the pool.

According to Rose Neubold, Williams Recreation Center director, on average 83 people used the pool each day during the 2013 swim season for a total of 5,914 users for the summer.

The pool has 10 lifeguards, consisting of college and high school age students.

"They are 21 years and younger," Walker said. "They only work eight weeks out of the whole year."

More information about pool activities is available from the Williams Aquatic Center at (928) 635-3005.

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