If you plan to swim at Greenwood’s new aquatic center, expect to pay at least double to get in the door compared with the old pool.
But for that price, you’ll get three times as many pools, all-new facilities and the surrounding amenities in Freedom Park, parks superintendent Rob Taggart said.
City officials warned residents early in the planning process for the new pool to expect to pay more when the center opens this year. The city park board approved the hours, prices, name and logo for the new aquatic center, named Freedom Springs, on Thursday.
Day passes for kids and seniors who are city residents will cost $6, and adults will pay $8. Season passes will be $65 per person, but families can get a 20 percent discount if they buy four passes or more. Nonresidents will pay more for both one-day and season passes. Daily water aerobics, water walking and lap swimming will be free with a pass, but you’ll have to pay for other classes or events, such as swim lessons.
At the old pool, prices were $2 for kids up to age 12, and season passes were $25 per person. Prices for adults and nonresidents were a little higher.
The pool’s management firm, Counsilman-Hunsaker, looked at the population of the area, average incomes and what Freedom Springs offers in order to figure out the rates, Taggart said. Greenwood aimed to charge less than Plainfield, which has a comparable water park, he said.
Even though the prices are higher than for the old pool, the new admission costs are a value for what’s being offered, he said.
“Without question, it’s a true aquatics facility. It’s an aquatics park that is about three separate bodies of waters, a 25-meter lap pool, a zero-depth entry leisure pool and a lazy river. In that, it’s got green space within the fenced-in area of the aquatics facility. And compounded on that, it’s the actual setting of where the aquatics center is at, it’s in Freedom Park,” Taggart said.
The pool has been expected to cost about $200,000 more per year to operate than it will generate in revenue. Trying to pack the pool to its 1,700-person capacity every day will be important, but the city will need to have robust programs that people sign up for if it wants to get the pool operating in the black, aquatic center manager Isaac Hart said.
Greenwood’s $7.2 million center, with multiple pools, three slides and a lazy river, offers more than most pools, so it can draw in a lot of swimmers every day, Hart said.
“It’s very innovate and ahead of its time. It’s really going to pay out in the long run,” he said.
Greenwood has about three months left before the scheduled opening Memorial Day week, and the city is closing in on finishing the project.
The city is about two to three weeks ahead of schedule on setting up operations, Hart said. The park board approved about $175,000 in equipment purchases Thursday, including float tubes, chaise chairs, cabanas, life jackets, concession stand supplies, medical supplies and office furniture to outfit the new pool.
Construction workers have mostly finished building the interiors of the buildings at Freedom Springs but are about two weeks behind on concrete work, Greenwood projects manager John Shell said. Workers need about 15 days of warmer weather to finish pouring concrete for the decks around pools and sidewalks before spring, he said.
Shell previously said construction should be done around the beginning of May in order to give pool staff time to test the pumps and filters, balance the water chemistry and train staff before opening.
Greenwood park board members approved hours and rates for the new aquatic center, named Freedom Springs. Here’s what you can expect when the pool opens up Memorial Day weekend:
Prices – new aquatic center
Day pass: $6 for kids and seniors, $8 for adults
Season pass: $65, with a 20 percent discount if you purchase four or more
Day pass: $8 for kids and seniors, $10 for adults
Season pass: $85
Prices – old city pool
Day pass: $2 for ages 4-11 and 55 and older, $3 for ages 12 to 54
Season pass: $25 for kids, up to $100 for non-residents