Water parks, pools gear up to fight summer heat
Anna Bullington, of Enterprise, plays with her daughters, Beth and Kate, in the Splash! pool last year. This year people can start enjoying all that Splash! has to offer April 28, or enjoy West Beach at Lake Tholocco starting May 19.

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (April 19, 2012) -- People can get out their swimsuits and get ready to take their swimming outside as Splash! and West Beach at Lake Tholocco get ready to open to fight the oncoming summer heat.

Splash!, located behind The Landing Zone, will open April 28 for Saturdays and Sundays only from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. until May 26, said Jonathan Cole, Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation aquatic manager.

Beginning May 26, Splash! will open daily for the summer from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. until Aug. 3 when it will resume its Saturdays-and Sundays-only schedule until it closes for the fall Sept. 30.

Splash! pool and spray park has two water slides and a spray area with 13 different water features as well as a pool for people to enjoy, said Cole.

Admission to the park is free for children 2 and younger, $1.50 for ages 3-12, $2.25 for 13-17 and $3 for 18 and older, said the aquatic manager, adding that season passes are available to purchase for $50 for single persons, $80 for a Family of two, $110 for Families of three, $140 for Families of four and $25 for additional Family members after four.

Splash! is open to authorized patrons and their guests. Authorized patrons are active duty and their Family members, Department of the Army civilians and their Family members, retirees and their Family members and contractors.

The season passes are available at both of Fort Rucker's physical fitness facilities, Splash!, outdoor recreation and leisure travel, he said. The season passes are good for both Splash! and West Beach, which is another one of Fort Rucker's water parks.

West Beach at Lake Tholocco will soon welcome people to enjoy what it has to offer with Lake Fest May 19.

Lake Fest will include games, vendors, food and a Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers car show, said the aquatic manager.

"We've had thousands of people come out to Lake Fest in the past," said Cole. "There are normally 300-400 people in the swimming area alone."

West Beach is a 40,000-square-foot swimming area at Lake Tholocco that is enclosed by a floating dock, he said. The water park has water slides that are comparable to those at Splash!, a floating dock in the middle of the swimming area with another smaller water slide, a water trampoline, inflatable water volleyball court and an open-water fitness swimming area that people can use to train.

"We have a little bit more of an open area this year for [people that want to train]," said Cole. "There are two buoys out in the water so that triathletes can swim and [look] for the buoys while they train as if they were in a real triathlon."

After the kickoff weekend, West Beach will be open May 26 to Aug. 3 Wednesdays to Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., he said. After Aug. 3, the water park will be available only on the weekends from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. until September 3.

The price for admission to West Beach is the same as Slash! pool and spray park and West Beach is open to the general public.

As Fort Rucker gets ready to open its water parks for people to enjoy, the indoor pool at the physical fitness facility will be closing for the summer April 28, said Cole, but Flynn Pool will open to offer the same aquatics programs that were offered at the physical fitness facility.

Programs like lap swim, swim for life, senior swim, unit physical training and military training, active duty instructional swim, adult swim lessons, youth swim lessons and water aerobics will still be available for authorized patrons to enjoy.

Flynn Pool will only be used for aquatics programs, fitness swimming and military training, said the aquatic manager, and will not be available for recreational use.

There will also be another lifeguard class available that will run from April 23 until May 10, said Cole. The class will meet Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5-8 p.m., and the cost for the class is $75. People ages 15-18 can enroll at Bldg. 5700 in room 193 and people 18-21 can enroll at the physical fitness facility on Andrews.

"We're always looking for new [qualified] lifeguards for the swimming facilities and we do need more lifeguards throughout the course of the summer," said Cole.

Another one of the programs at Flynn Pool is GuardStart, which is for 13 and 14 year olds that cannot yet take the lifeguarding courses, said the aquatics manager.

"People can come out to the facilities a few hours at a time to learn lifeguarding skills by shadowing actual lifeguards," he said, adding that the participants will learn water safety and other lifeguarding techniques.

Parents must complete paperwork for interested participants through the child, youth and school services EDGE! program.

For more information on any of the programs, water parks or facilities, call 255-9162.

Page last updated Wed April 18th, 2012 at 00:00