City aquatics workers have some goals to improve the aquatics program. A pool worker shared those goals at a Parks Board meeting Tuesday night. Here are some of them:
Research more amenities: The trend in aquatics is to offer a facility that’s a destination experience – su
ch as the new aquatics complex in Lynnwood, which has a lazy river, waterslides and other extras. The city is already using giant inflatable toys as a way to spice up the city’s standard rectangle pool. They’re considering more of that but they’re also want to play up the pool’s strengths, such as lessons and fitness programs that might not fit in a pool dominated by slides and lazy rivers.
Look into more water therapy options: More people need and want to use hot water pools for physical therapy. The city is considering exploring partnerships with hospitals or other ways to provide such an amenity to its patrons.
Add and adjust programs: Pool regulars say they want some changes to the classes offered. Parents of tiny tots want a bridge class between the infant classes and swim lessons for older kids. They also want a swim class for preschoolers in the afternoon, a time set aside now primarily for lessons for older kids. The staff is considering drop-in options for some of its adult classes and adding options such as Zumba water class or something geared toward folks with arthritis. Regulars also expressed interest in a triathlon preparation class.
Improve the pool: The city also is considering a few small projects to improve the swim center at Forest Park, including adding a family bathroom with a shower and adding a lift to the hot water tub. Right now people with disabilities or illnesses who need the hot water pool for therapy are struggling to get in and out. The parks department already has money in its budget to pay for small projects.
Expand the pro shop: Right now customers can buy basic swim gear such as goggles and swim caps at the pool. People also have asked about more specialized swim items. Pool workers are considering stocking a wider variety of those items.
Create a schedule for fee hikes: The city wants to do a better job of forecasting expenses and revenue and matching prices to those forecasts. It’s about “meeting peoples expectations and beating it on price,” parks director Paul Kaftanski said.