After a $117,000 overhaul, the zero-depth pool at the Westlock Recreation Centre made a big splash last week.
The facility’s new spray park opened to the public Oct. 3, and was a big hit with young and old alike, said Courtney von Rennenkampf, the town’s community services program supervisor.
“It’s pretty exciting, and I know it’s been very entertaining for all ages groups,” she said. “Even the visual of it, it’s very interactive. It just gives the pool another angle.”
Friday afternoon, many kids and parents were taking advantage of the new waterslide and the variety of features designed to spray, splash and soak, but von Rennenkampf said she expects the pool will get busier in coming weeks.
“I think the awareness is just starting to get out there,” she said.
The park installation was paid for with a joint effort of the town, the county and the Village of Clyde, Westlock CAO Darrell Garceau said. The money came through the provincial Municipal Sustainability program, and was directed toward the new spray park, the Clyde playground and a risk management program.
“It was jointly funded under the grant program, but all moneys that were allocated came from the three municipalities’ entitlement,” he said.
It is a unique facility for town, county and village resident to use, but the pool also holds some wider appeal. Von Rennenkampf said after a course held at the pool last weekend, a woman from St. Albert said she would “definitely” make the drive to use it.
On Friday afternoon, an out-of-town family was already using the park. Athabasca resident Crystal Korth brought her daughter Sage, 3, and her son Marshall, 2, to use the new facility — all three were clearly enjoying it.
“I think it’s just a much better use of this space,” she said. “It’s very interactive; you’ve got kids running around and having a good time.”
She added it’s a pretty good deal to have something like this in Westlock.
“Normally you have to drive into the city to get this stuff,” she said.
Westlock resident Linda McCoy was also at the pool with her kids, and said she anticipated spending a lot more time at the facility.
“It’s very exciting,” she said.
“The kids all really seem to like it.”
Bonnie Jespersen said she and her kids were all happy to be able to use a facility like this in town, and added there were a lot more features than she had imagined there would be.
“I think it’s great,” she said. “It’s definitely a lot more than I thought.”
An added advantage for her, she said, is that it’s right in town — before, she would have to drive into the city to get access to a comparable facility.
“Now we can just come here,” she said.
The park is available for use any time during the pool’s public swim hours. For an up-to-date schedule or to get more information, contact the recreation centre at 780-349-6677.