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Big doings at swimming pool

by Christy Chalmers

A backhoe has begun scraping out the first of $1.7 million worth of improvements at the Carson Valley Swim Center.

The pit will eventually be a receiving pool for two water slides that will extend from a stair tower on the north side of the building. In addition, the facility will get a water play area, a second shower and changing room for people with special needs, improvements to the main locker rooms, improved air filtration and a new pump room.

The changes are part of a master plan for the complex, said Suzy Stockdale, chairwoman of the East Fork Swimming Pool District board, which oversees the facility.

Currently, the complex includes indoor and outdoor lap pools, indoor and outdoor training pools and an indoor physical therapy pool. Exercise equipment is available in a multipurpose room along with locker rooms and a changing room for people with special needs.

– Pool users’ recommendations. Stockdale said the decisions for which improvements would be made were fueled by survey results and daily comments from pool users.

“We had a feeling for what people generally wanted,” she said. More pool space was at the top of the list.

The receiving pool will double as a training pool when the slides are closed, said pool director Kirk Chiapella.

The current training pool, said Chiapella, “is so popular for public use it’s created another battleground. If we can put our lessons over here, it will take pressure off our pool.

“We kind of lucked out that the landing depth is also a great teaching depth,” he added.

With the improvements, the indoor training pool will become a play area complete with toys that spray and pour water on the users.

“The concept is to have a playground in shallow water,” said Stockdale.

“These types of pools have been very popular throughout the country,” added Chiapella, who said recent trends in pool designs focus on shallow, multi-use pools ideal for families.

The playground will be open all year, along with the water slides. The enclosed slides, which will also be open to adults, will originate on a 20-foot-high tower, exit the building, then reenter at the pool for the conclusion of the 185-foot ride.

Stockdale and Chiapella noted designers took care to place the slides and glass stair tower on the north side of the building, out of direct view of the houses on the west.

On the south side of the building, a new pump and chemical room will be built to handle increased pumping and water filtration requirements. Patrons should also notice less humidity and better air quality thanks to improved air circulation.

The changes are expected to be complete in January. Chiapella said changes in programs or hours due to construction will be posted as they happen.