Our new pool is open!
The opening ceremonies were held on Tuesday evening so Doug and I headed over after work to check out the place. The place in question is the new Kiwanis Aquatic Centre which boasts a big bright new branch for our public library and two new pools (an 8-lane 25m pool and a leisure pool). Construction delays, problems and pool battles were forgotten as car after car pulled into the parking lot of our newest community gathering place.
And that's exactly how it felt the moment we walked in - this is a community gathering place. Families, kids, teenagers, adults, groups and individuals - everyone was there. Including my friend, and 2011 Global Hero, John. Big hugs all around as we talked about the new pool, about his son heading to University and about when exactly summer starts. Doug insisted that it started about five minutes ago while John and I agreed that it started back in May and it's already half done. Either way, the pool looked very inviting and I couldn't wait to jump in.
Wednesday morning, I hopped in the car ten minutes earlier than I normally would have and drove all the way across town. It took just under ten minutes to get there - not bad! I pulled in to find the parking lot already busy. Our old pool used to have three lifeguards and that was it. Now, there were four (perhaps five?) lifeguards on duty, two employees at the front desk, a cleaning crew and (gasp!) a security guard. All at 5:45am.
I found our fancy new locker room and all my swimming friends were there. We were all excited to get back into the water after almost two weeks off. We spent the first few minutes getting our bearings in the new space. Where are the showers? Where can we put our stuff? Did you bring a lock for the lockers (we never locked anything up at the old pool)? Are you bringing your towel out to the pool area? Look how big the mirror is!
We made our way out to the pool and the lifeguard explained that we have four of the eight lanes for lane swimming (down from 6 at our old pool). The other half of the pool seemed to be reserved for some sort of master class swimming with a personal coach. Only one swimmer was there so they really had a lot of space to move. We were a little crammed with only four lanes and, as far as I could tell, all the swimmers there were from the old pool. Once new people start discovering this place, they may have to consider giving us a few more lanes. For now though, it seems ok.
Overall, the pool is quite nice. I'll have to get used to having a lifeguard on each end of the pool who stands right at the edge rather than sit in a chair. I'll have to get used to the fact that there is no place to put your stuff (other than on the floor) in the showers, that you can't control the water temperature and that the shower is on a one-minute timer so the water keeps turning itself off.
Two suggestions I had for front desk on the way out:
1. install large clocks by the pool so people can tell what time it is.
2. put garbage cans in the washrooms so ladies with their periods don't have to walk out of the stall, wander around the washroom and finally wander around the locker room searching for somewhere to put their garbage. Because that can be rather annoying...just saying.
Other than that - I'm all set to jump back into the water on Friday morning!