FORT RUCKER, Ala. (June 27, 2013) -- There are a host of choices to choose from when it comes to deciding how to cool off during the summer, but Fort Rucker is making that decision easier now that Splash! Pool and Spray Park is open to the general public.

Installation Management Command approved a request to open the facility to the public, resulting in a great opportunity to extend the quality-of-life enhancement provided on Fort Rucker to the surrounding community, said Janice Erdlitz, Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation marketing director.

"I think this is a win for all Soldiers, Families, retirees and civilians, and we're fortunate to be able to make this change," she said. "Splash! offers so many fun features that makes it a must do in this hot Alabama weather."

Splash! is open Wednesdays--Mondays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and is closed Tuesdays. The facility boasts a 250-thousand gallon swimming pool, two 14-foot water slides, a 10-foot rock wall, diving board, 1,500 square-foot spray park, Tiki Bay with food and drink concessions, and a lounge area with chairs, picnic tables and shaded areas.

The cost of admission for the general public is free for 2 and younger; $3.75 for ages 3-9; $4.50 for ages 10-17; and $5.25 for ages 18 and older. For DOD civilians and contractors the cost is free for 2 and younger; $3 for ages 3-9; $3.75 for ages 10-17; and $4.50 for ages 18 and older; and for military ID card holders, the cost is free for 2 and younger; $2.25 for ages 3-9; $3 for ages 10-17; and $3.75 for ages 18 and older.

The general population had their first taste of the pool and spray park June 22, and many were pleased with the experience.

"I think it's great that they opened the park to the public because there aren't really a lot of places around here that we can take our children to swim," said Heather Moody, civilian from Headland. "We brought six children with us and they all had a blast. Some of them had to have gone down the slide around 30 times."

Moody said that her favorite part about the facility was the spray park because it allowed her to relax while her younger children had an area to play.

"The splash area for the little children is a really neat idea," she said. "I could just sit there and watch my children play there while I worked on my tan -- it's just got something for everybody."

Hayleigh, daughter of Heather, said her favorite part about Splash! was the water slide.

"I really liked going down the slides here," she said. "It's not like a regular pool where you just have a swim area and a diving board, there's so much more to do here and I really like it."

As with any public facility, Splash! does come with some house rules that every patron is expected to follow.

Parents of children who cannot stand or swim must be kept within arm's reach at all times and youth must be at least 13 years of age to come to the facility unattended. There are no flotation devices allowed on any of the pool's water features such as the slides, diving board and rock wall, and all youth must be at least 3-feet in height to utilize the water slides.

For more information, call 255-9162.