After numerous delays, the new Athens city pool opened Monday to crowds anxious to escape the blistering summer heat.
The pool was originally scheduled to open during Memorial Day weekend, but the date was pushed back to June 16 because of rainy weather and flooding. The opening was delayed again because of a failure by the city to obtain a variance from the State Health Department for a non-compliance issue with the front gate of the swimming pool.
“We were aware that people were disappointed when we missed our target opening day on Memorial Weekend,” said Terri Moore, the director of the Athens Arts, Parks and Recreation Department. “We want the facility checked off and safe and compliant first and foremost.”
The new pool features a competitive lap pool, two slides, a splash pad and diving boards. It is a saltwater system with a chemical feed system, pumps and filtration systems.
“There is an array of activities here for everybody and this is why I personally like the new features of the new pool because it accommodates multiple age groups,” said Kyle Berkley, the pool manager.
Despite the delays, the opening drew a large crowd of people who were eager to enjoy the pool on a day that reached 90 degrees.
“We were frustrated because of course we wanted to be here but we were just trying to be patient because we were exciting our inner eight year old,” said Michael Philibian, an Athens resident.
The city will host a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, June 30.
Berkeley said he is grateful the staff and lifeguards will get the chance to get used to the job and know the facility better prior to the opening.
The grand opening will start with a ribbon cutting at 11:45 a.m. and will be open to the public at noon. The event has multiple sponsors, including Pepsi and Zonez.
The entrance fee is $7 for adults, $5 for youth aged 4 to 17, $5 for seniors 60 and older and free for kids 3 and under.