June 16, 2011 in Washington Voices

Pools get ready to open; Splash Down starts today

By The Spokesman-Review
J. Bart Rayniak photoBuy this photo

Cousins Shayna Smith, Madison Szafransky and Caitlin Collum, all 11, enjoy a warm day at Splash Down, June 5. The waterpark opens full time for the season today.
(Full-size photo)

Everyone grab your swimsuits and towels. The Spokane Valley pools are opening for business this week.

All three city of Spokane Valley pools – Terrace View, Park Road and Valley Mission – will open for the season on Saturday. The Splash Down Waterpark, which is privately owned, will begin daily operations today.

Each city pool has the same amenities as last year. The Park Road pool has a slide, the Valley Mission pool has a zero depth entry pool and the Terrace View Pool has a lazy river feature. Terrace View is usually the busiest, said Spokane Valley recreation coordinator Jennifer Papich. “We did notice an increase in Park Road pool attendance when we added the slide,” she said.

Admission is still $1 per person for open swim times. A summer swim pass for 25 visits is $20. Children 5 and under are free with an adult and on weekends children 12 and under are free with an adult.

“We just want to make it affordable,” Papich said. “We know a lot of neighborhood kids use our pools.”

Each pool has open swim from 1 to 3:30 p.m. and from 4 to 6 p.m. every day except for the Park Road pool, which does not have the 4 to 6 p.m. open swim on Wednesdays. Park Road will also have additional open swim sessions from 6:15 to 8 p.m. every day except for Wednesdays.

Evening open swim sessions at Valley Mission will be from 6:15 to 8 p.m. on weekends only through Aug. 7. After Aug. 8 sessions will be held at that time every day. Open swim at Terrace View will be from 6:15 to 8 p.m. every day through Aug. 7 and then it will switch to weekends only.

Valley Mission and Terrace View pools will also have special open swim sessions for adults only. The sessions will be from 7:15 to 8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays at Valley Mission until Aug. 5. At Terrace View adults will be able to swim from 7:15 to 8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays from Aug. 8 to Sept. 2.

Families who cannot afford to pay the entrance fees can apply for a scholarship through Spokane Valley Partners by calling (509) 927-1153.

The pools will also offer swimming lessons again this year. The first lessons begin the week of June 27, but registration will begin at 5 p.m. on Friday. Parents must go to the pool where their child will attend to sign up. The sessions are $30. “They’re really popular and they fill up,” said Papich. “At 4:30 you see people lining up.”

Splash Down has been open a few days this year already. It is usually only open if the temperature is above 75 degrees and it is sunny, said owner Melissa Kellogg. “Otherwise nobody shows up,” she said. “We hang out there with the lifeguards and staff, wishing and waiting for people to show up.”

Sometimes the park will be open if it is warm but cloudy, particularly if there is a group event scheduled that day. “It’s a judgment call,” she said.

There are no new water attractions this year, but Kellogg and her husband Geoff did put in a new deck, new picnic tables and a new concession stand menu. Other less noticeable improvements have also been made. “Nobody really cares about chlorinators, but those are a big deal,” she said.

The park is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day except for Sunday, when the hours are noon to 6 p.m. Admission is $16.99 for those above 48 inches tall and $12.99 for those under 48 inches. Children 3 and under are free, as are seniors age 64 and over.

Every Tuesday night is family night. Families can get in for only $9 per person from 4 to 8 p.m. The waterpark also offers live music every Thursday night, when admission again is only $9 per person from 4 to 8 p.m.

Kellogg said she tries to hire local musicians to provide the music. “It’s just kind of fun and festive,” she said.

For more information go online to splashdownwaterpark.net or www.spokanevalley.org.

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