Fort Rucker opens swim season May 25
May 24, 2013
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (May 23, 2013) -- Sun, sand and swimsuits are in Fort Rucker's immediate future as swim season gets into full swing and officially opens on the installation May 25.
There are many different locations on the installation that people can use to beat the summer heat, said Jon Cole, Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation aquatics manager, including Lake Tholocco, Splash! Pool and Spray Park, and Flynn Pool.
The outdoor swim season this year will run from May 25 to Aug. 16, and the operating times at many of the facilities have changed as well, said Cole.
West Beach at Lake Tholocco, which is open to the public, opened May 18 during its Lake Fest celebration to kick off summer on the installation, and boasts water slides, a water trampoline, enclosed swimming area, pavilions, snack bar, kayak and pontoon boat rentals, and more, said the aquatics manager.
"It's a great area for people to visit and they don't have to travel far to go to a beach," he said. "They can go out there with their Family and just enjoy the water, and they don't even have to be military."
West Beach is open Friday--Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and admission costs are: free for 2 and younger; $1.50 for ages 3-9; $2.25 for ages 10-17; and $3 for 18 and older.
Splash!, located behind the Landing, is another featured swim area on Fort Rucker that boasts water slides, a spray park for the younger children, and a Tiki Bay for older patrons, said Cole, adding that children under the age of 13 must be accompanied by an adult, 18 or older.
The pool and spray park is open to authorized patrons and their guests, and operating hours run Wednesdays--Mondays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission cost differs for military I.D. card holders, and DOD civilians and contractors.
Admission costs for military I.D. card holders are: free for 2 and younger; $2.25 for ages 3-9; $3 for ages 10-17; and $3.75 for 18 and older. Costs for DOD civilians and contractors are: free for 2 and younger; $3 for ages 3-9; $3.75 for ages 10-17; and $4.50 for 18 and older.
People can also book pool parties at Splash! for $125 per hour, which includes access to the entire swim facility, or $50 for just the spray park, said Cole, adding that parties can be booked for a maximum of three hours either before or after normal operating hours.
"For example, if a Family wants to book a pool party for one hour, they must either book the party for one hour before the park opens or the hour after the park closes," said the aquatics manager.
Season passes are available and can be used at either West Beach or Splash!, and cost for military I.D. card holders are: $50 for individuals; $80 for a Family of two; $110 for a Family of three; $140 for a Family of four; and $25 for each additional Family member after that.
Season pass costs for DOD civilians and contractors are: $60 for individuals; $95 for a Family of two; $130 for a Family of three; $165 for a Family of four; and $30 for each additional Family member after that.
Another area that is available on Fort Rucker is Flynn Pool, which will be replacing the indoor pool at the Fort Rucker Physical Fitness Facility during the summer season.
"The indoor pool will be closed during this time," said Cole, "and Flynn Pool is only available to authorized patrons and only to be utilized for military training, fitness swimming and programming -- it is not a recreational swimming area."
Additionally, the swimming pools at the Corvias Military Living facilities and neighborhood centers will be available to residents of housing areas starting May 24, said Brandon Masters, communications manager for Corvias Military Living.
Hours of operation for the housing area pools are Mondays--Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sundays from 1-6 p.m.
"Residents must sign the pool use addendum and be issued a pool pass prior to use," he said. "Additionally, any resident under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult guardian 18 years of age or older … and residents must accompany their guests to the pool."
There is a guest limit of four per household, Masters added.
Food is allowed in the pool area, but not in the pool, and no glass is permitted in the pool area at all, said the communications manager.
Cole said an added benefit to utilizing the swimming areas on Fort Rucker is the safety aspect.
"Our facilities are some of the safest that people will find," he said. "We have layered supervision and several lifeguards on duty at any given time at our facilities."
Lifeguards are also on duty during hours of operation at the housing area pools as well, according to Masters.
"The lifeguards are there to ensure the swimmers' safety, and monitor water clarity, chemical balance and observe weather safety conditions," he said, adding that all lifeguards are certified by the Red Cross in first aid and CPR.
Lifeguards and staff at the facilities can't monitor everything, though, said Cole. It's also up to parents and individuals to make sure that they stay safe and abide by rules posted in each designated area.
"People need to make sure they stay hydrated when they're swimming," he said. "I know they hear it all the time, but a lot of people don't realize that they sweat when they swim, so they're losing hydration that way."
He also advises that parents keep a watchful eye on their younger children and not rely on flotation devices to keep their children safe.
For more information on Splash!, West Beach or Flynn Pool, call 255-2296.
For more information on the housing swimming areas, call 503-3600.