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Pool officials hope for rise in membership

Staff writer

Marion Aquatics Center director Kylie Schroeder is hoping the new November pool schedule brings back more members. The pool is re-building its membership after the facility closed down for the month of September.

Following the Labor Day storm that knocked out the pool’s pump and damaged the breaker box, the pool was drained and repairs were made, including replacing the pump. After the pool reopened on Old Settlers’ Day weekend, members received an extra month in order to make up for the month when it closed, Schroeder said.

The new pool scheduled incorporates evening and late afternoon practice times for the new Tabor College swim team.

The new pool schedule “is going to be an adjustment,” said Schroeder, who began working as the director in September. She plans to open the pool one day over Thanksgiving holiday break and several days over Christmas break.

Neither Schroeder nor USD 408, which owns the facility, could provide historical membership numbers at the pool. A look at the sign-in sheet at the pool last week revealed that about 20 members use the facility.

Doug Vogel, who has been a regular swimmer at the pool since 2008, said active membership tends to rise and fall.

“Yeah, there’s probably fewer (members) right now,” Vogel said. “Having it closed for a while, after the storm damage, people get out of habit to swim. You kind of just have to make yourself do it.”

The Tabor College swim team consists of about 15 students. Through the winter, the swim team will practice from 7 to 9 p.m. two days a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, Tabor practices from 4 to 6 p.m.

Vogel said that when Tabor practiced beginning at 7 p.m. four days a week in the autumn, he had to be out of the pool at 7 sharp. Now with the new schedule he can exit the pool and shower afterward a little more leisurely Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

“It’s kind of a benefit,” Vogel said.

Schroeder vowed to keep Tabor practices from encroaching on community free swim times. Tabor provides revenue and uses the pool for “a very short timeframe,” Schroeder said, and that balancing the community’s needs with the swim team is a “give and take” exercise.

Lee Leiker, superintendent of the USD 408, said that Tabor pays the school district $150 a week for use of the pool.

Schroeder’s main goal is to create “safe” atmosphere at the facility. As part of that effort, she moved the sign-in sheet to the pool entrance door. Schroeder requires folks to sign in, which creates a more thorough record of membership and fees.

Schroeder has also created a booklet spelling out the rules and expectations for lifeguarding, and she is staffing the facility with three guards during each six-hour shift.

“You have to be very attentive and thinking safety,” Schroeder said.

The price to rent the Marion Aquatic Center Pool is $60 an hour for private use.

The price for admission to the Marion Aquatics Center Pool is:

  • Children 6 and younger are free
  • Day pass is $2
  • $20 punch card earns 11 passes to the pool
  • Single membership for four months is $81.41; single yearly is $244.23
  • Family membership for four months is $135.69; family membership for a year is $407.07

The Winter Aquatics Center hours are:

  • Monday through Friday 5:15-8 a.m. Lap Swim; 8-9 a.m. aerobics
  • Monday and Wednesday 6-7 p.m. Open Swim; 7-8 p.m. Lap Swim and Aerobics
  • Tuesday and Thursday 4-6 p.m. Open Swim; 6-7 p.m. Lap Swim and aerobics
  • Saturday 1-6 p.m. Open Swim
  • Sunday 2-5 p.m. Open Swim

Last modified Nov. 13, 2014

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