Archive for Thursday, September 20, 2007

First season successful for new pool

September 20, 2007

With the water drained and the pool winterized, the city is looking back at the Eudora Aquatic Center's opening season.

On average, the center's attendance exceeded Eudora Parks and Recreation Director Tammy Hodges original estimates, she said.

The pool drew about 300 people per day from July 7 until Sept. 3.

She originally predicted the pool would draw somewhere between 200 to 250 people per day.

"When August hit, everything died down," Hodges said.

The $1.4 million dollar center opened a month late because of construction delays.

Despite the postponement, people enrolled in all of the city's swim lessons.

About 170 people participated in the classes during the two-week sessions.

"With us running late, we had to knock out a first session of swimming lessons," Hodges said.

The pool brought in around $33,000, Eudora City Administrator Cheryl Beatty said.

"It did turn out well," Beatty said.

If the pool had been open for a full season, it would came close to breaking even, Beatty said.

The city spent about $67,000 for the pool and lifeguards over the summer. Hodges estimated the lifeguard wages accounted for about $49,000 of the total.

"That was because we kept the lifeguards and the concession people working for that month of June when the pool wasn't open," Hodges said

The city had the lifeguards painting fire hydrants and taking care of other odd jobs around the city while finishing touches were made on the pool.

The department also found aspects to improve on for the next season, Hodges said.

"I'm hoping that next year we can get the slide to operate at the normal rating that it's supposed to," she said. "Also we got to look at the buckets and why they are not dropping water quick enough."

The water slide has had issues generating enough water pressure to get swimmers down quickly since installation, Hodges said.

In addition to fixing issues with the equipment, Hodges has several theme nights planned for the next swim season.

Hodges also predicted the city will continue to teach evening swim lessons.

"I know that's why a lot of people were concerned why we didn't try to stay open to 8 o'clock like we did in the past," Hodges said.

By the next swim season, the city will have completed the recreation center, which was also part of a $3.8 million bond issue that built the pool, and concession facilities.

"Next year, we are going to have to wear armbands, or arm bracelets, with the building being open," Hodges said.

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