Columbia pools, spray grounds prep for early opening

Wednesday, May 23, 2012 | 5:30 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — The city's aquatic facilities will open soon for the summer season, with all outdoor pools to be open by May 30.

The Albert-Oakland Family Aquatic Center will be the first outdoor pool to open, at noon Friday.

If you go

Albert-Oakland Family Aquatic Center, 1900 Blue Ridge Road

  •  Open from noon to 6 p.m. Friday through Monday.
  • Beginning Tuesday, hours are noon to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 6 p.m. on weekends.

Lake of the Woods Pool, 6700 St. Charles Road

  • Open May 30 through Aug. 6; closed July 4. Hours are noon to 5:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday and 1:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Douglass Family Aquatic Center, 400 N. Providence

  • Open May 30 through Aug. 12. Hours are 1 to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Little Mates Cove at Twin Lakes, 2500 Chapel Hill Road

  • Open May 30 through Aug. 12. Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Friday; 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

A complete list of city pool schedules is available here.

Other outdoor facilities include Lake of the Woods Pool, Douglass Family Aquatic Center and Little Mates Cove at Twin Lakes.

Indoor facilities and spray grounds, as well as the swimming beach at Stephens Lake, are already open. 

Indoor facilities include Hickman Pool and the Activity and Recreation Center. Spray grounds are located at Stephens Lake, Flat Branch and Douglass parks.

City pools are opening earlier than usual this year in conjunction with the earlier summer break for Columbia Public Schools, according to a news release from Columbia's Department of Parks and Recreation.

Summer pool fees are unchanged from last year:

  • Ages 2 and younger: Free
  • Ages 2 to 15: $2.50
  • Ages 16 and older: $3.75
  • Douglass Pool: $1
Last summer, attendance at the city's outdoor pools totaled 53,461, said Tammy Miller of the parks department. Meanwhile, S.J. Idel, a city recreation specialist, said he expects about 800 people each day this weekend at Albert-Oakland.
About 85 lifeguards have been hired to work at city pools this summer, Idel said. About 35 to 40 more are needed. A final lifeguard training session will be held in June. The class will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 4 to June 7 at Hickman Pool. The cost of the class and required materials is $165.
The parks department will offer swim lessons for children ages 3 to 15 years old. Classes start throughout the summer and run through Aug. 2. Eight lessons costs $45. For more information, call Parks and Recreation at 874-7460.

Supervising editor is John Schneller

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