Memorial Day weekend traditionally signals the beginning of summer. And for many, summer means splashing around in the city swimming pools.
Though the forecast for the three-day weekend is looking damp, George Prout Pool in Richland opens this weekend, as well as splash parks in Kennewick and Richland. Pools in Pasco and Kennewick will open soon after.
Here’s the rundown:
Richland’s George Prout Pool, Badger Mountain Splash and Play and Howard Amon Park’s wading pool open May 23.
A new parking lot is under construction at the city pool at 1005 Swift Blvd., near Richland High School. Joe Schiessl, Richland’s parks and recreation director, said it is needed because there is no accessible way for people with disabilities to get from the Columbia Playfields lot to the pool.
“The parking demand in the Columbia Playfields is exceeding supply,” he said.
The new $144,300 parking lot will be complete by June 8, Schiessl said. It will add 39 new parking spaces.
The city removed several mature trees to make way for the parking lot. Schiessl said the trees will be replaced.
Some were disappointed to see the trees taken down. Jason Martinez, a teacher at the high school who also lives nearby, would have liked to have seen notice given. He rarely sees all the nearby parking fill up.
“It was a nice shaded area,” he said. “It’s a shame to destroy that for a new parking lot.”
Daily swim fees at the pool are $2.25 for Richland adults and $2.75 for adult non-residents, and $1.25 for Richland residents 17 and under and $1.50 for youth non-residents.
Public swim sessions at the pool are: 1:15-2:45 p.m., 3-4:30 p.m. and 7-8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; 1-2:30 p.m., 2:45-4:15 p.m., 4:30-6 p.m. and 6:15-7:45 p.m. Saturdays; and 1-2:30 p.m., 2:45-4:15 p.m. and 4:30-6 p.m. Sundays.
The pool, as well as the Badger Mountain spray park at 350 Keene Road, will be open until Labor Day weekend.
Call 509-942-7529 or visit www.richlandparksandrec.com for more information.
Splash parks at the Civic Center, Southridge Sports Complex and Columbia, Grange and Underwood parks open this weekend. Kenneth E. Serier Memorial Pool near Kennewick High School opens June 15.
But city officials said the opening will come with some changes to make it easier and more enjoyable for families to use.
The pool will offer open swim for a full three-hour block during the day with another hour-and-a-half session in the evenings this summer. That’s a departure from the multiple hour-and-a-half sessions the pool used to be open, often resulting in families having to leave the pool and then re-enter, paying a second time to do so.
“This is more convenient for our users,” said city spokeswoman Evelyn Lusignan.
The city is also simplifying admission to the pool. Season-long swim passes will now be available, eliminating the need for frequent users to constantly purchase the booklets that held multiple admission tickets.
City resident youth passes will cost $60, adults will cost $90. Non-city rates for youth and adults will be $90 and $135, respectively. They can be purchased at Southridge, Kennewick Senior Center, or at City Hall. The receipts can then be taken to the pool or buy the pass directly at the pool when it opens.
The swim lesson schedule for the pool also has been simplified. And there will be themed events several days a week at the pool along with a longer celebration in July.
Here’s the rundown:
• Saturday: Family Game Night with pool staff organizing games and handing out prizes.
• Wednesday: Noodle Night so you can bring your own pool noodle or borrow one of those at the pool.
• Sunday: Popsicle Sundays with every one receiving a free popsicle as long as supplies last.
• Space Week: Runs from July 20-30.
Memorial Park Pool, 1520 W. Shoshone St., opens June 9, according to the city’s website. The cost for open swimming is $5 for adults and $3 for children between 4-17.
The pool will be open daily until Aug. 30, with the exception of July 10 and Aug. 6, it is closed for swim meets.
Call Pasco Recreation Services at 509-545-3456 for more information.