Jefferson City pools open today

A youngster beats the heat by blasting down the water slide at the Memorial Park Aquatic Center last year.  Jefferson City public pools open today.

A youngster beats the heat by blasting down the water slide at the Memorial Park Aquatic Center last year. Jefferson City public pools open today. Photo by Kris Wilson.

With a high temperature of 90 forecast and little chance for daytime rain, today’s opening of Jefferson City’s swimming pools may be a welcome relief for many.

The Memorial Park Family Aquatic Center will be open from noon-7 p.m. daily. The Ellis-Porter Riverside Pool is open from noon-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from noon-6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Neither pool has made major facilities changes since last year, said Laurie Herzing, a Jefferson City Parks, Recreation and Forestry department recreation supervisor for Aquatics and Special Events.

“At Memorial, we have a new concession deck and railing,” she explained. “We used to have a wooden deck, and now it’s that ‘Trex,’” an “alternative” to wood product that looks and, often, feels like wood — with a longer predicted life span than the wood decking the new floor replaces.

Also, she said, the new fencing is iron.

“You’ll know it’s different when you get there,” Herzing explained.

Memorial Aquatic Center users also will find “new canopies on our slide towers — which is more for the lifeguards, so they don’t get sunburned, and for the patrons waiting in line,” Herzing said.

And the bathroom floors have been redone with a “nonslip flooring” that replaces floors with sand mixed into the paint.

“Hopefully, this will look much nicer and cleaner, and last for several years,” she said.

At Ellis-Porter Riverside Pool, she said, “We got a water basketball goal” because the pool is so long, it will be nice for a little pick-up basketball game.

“It’s not a big, heavy-duty goal where you can do some slam-dunking or anything.”

Both pools have added “handicapped lifts” to make the pools more accessible to people with disabilities, as required by the federal Americans With Disabilities Act.

“By ADA standards, they have a remote so that,” Herzing explained, “if anybody in a wheelchair or anybody who needs access to the lift can go up to it, use it, get in the pool and get out without asking anybody.”

Both pools offer lap swimming from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., with admission $1.50 — or $12 for a 10-pass punch card.

At the Memorial Aquatic Center, admission is $5 for adults ($3 after 5 p.m.) and $4 for youth ($2.50 after 5 p.m.). A 10-punch swim card is $40 adults and $32 youth, and a combo card (five adult admissions and five youth admissions) is $36. More information is available at 634-6588.

For Ellis-Porter Riverside Pool, adult admission is $3 and youth $2.50, with an adult 10-punch card $24 and a 10-punch youth card $20. A combo card (five adult admissions and five youth admissions) is $22. More information is available by calling 634-6585.

Ellis-Porter Pool will host a “kickoff to summer” pool party from 7:30-9 p.m. on June 8, for youths 11-14 years, with “music, pool challenges, basketball, giveaways, and much more.” Admission is $5 a person.

On June 14, the pool hosts a “Little Mermaid” Pool Party for youths 2-7, from 6-7:30 p.m. Admission to that event is $8 — and pre-registration is required.

Over the past few years, Herzing said, attendance has been pretty steady.

“Last year, I think people thought we were going to be busier, because it was so hot,” she said.

“But it actually was almost too hot for people to be at the pool — for parents who bring their kids, then sit out on the side and not spend their day in the water.”

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