As the walls of the Community Aquatic Center grow taller, more questions about the facility bubble up in the community. At the Y, we assume for each question that is asked, many others are quietly wondering the same thing. Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions. If these spur more questions for you, please stop by the Y and ask!
- What is the most recent update on construction?
While challenging to view from the street, both pools were fully built this summer and sealed with a protective cover. The formation of pools was a huge undertaking and required layers of re bar and hundreds of yards of concrete to be poured all at once. After the pools were formed they had to be fully filled for a series of days to ensure they could hold water. Luckily, both pools held water perfectly!
Once the pools were complete in mid-August, work on masonry walls was able to start. Now when you drive past the Y you can visibly see progress. At the beginning of December steel will be erected and the full form of the new addition will take shape. It is exciting to see how immense the natatorium (the pool areas) look with the incredibly high walls going up.
Inside our existing building, the previous childcare center is now fully demoed and work to tie it to the new part of the facility is under way. One aspect that has been really interesting is tearing into walls and closets and finding the original exterior walls of the Y. It reminds us of the ever-evolving nature of our Y.
- Who can use the Community Aquatic Center?
The Community Aquatic Center, as is the rest of the Y, is open to the public without membership requirements. There will be multiple ways you can pay to use the facility, including:
- Day pass
- Punch pass
- Membership (scholarships readily available)
- Birthday party package
- Rental agreement
- Who operates the Community Aquatic Center?
The Community Aquatic Center is operated and managed by the Sheridan County YMCA. The Y has a volunteer board of directors, a full time staff of 19 and more than 80 part time employees. The Y has operated pools for over 50 years and understands the unique elements of pool programming and operation.
- What amenities does the Community Aquatic Center offer?
The 30,000-square-foot addition houses two pools, a vortex pool, spa, two slides, zero entry with toddler slide and water toys, climbing wall, basketball hoop, five new locker rooms, welcome and check-in desk and a new lobby area.
- What is the Sheridan County YMCA mission?
The Y is dedicated to putting Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. We are committed to refusing no child membership for reasons of economic hardship.
- Is the City of Sheridan involved with the Community Aquatic Center?
The City of Sheridan has been an incredible partner and donor in this project. It is exciting to experience the power of partnership in making awesome amenities possible in our small town.
- How is the aquatic facility funded?
The Community Aquatic Center is a true example of a community project that was made possible by vast community support. Over 500 donors have made the project possible ranging from a youth penny campaign to incredibly large gifts from individuals, foundations and our City’s contribution. When the facility opens the operation and maintenance cost will be the sole responsibility of the Y.
- What types of aquatic programs will be offered at the Community Aquatic Center?
We will continue our traditional water aerobics classes and swim lessons in the new pools. However we will also have an opportunity to have multi-users/programs in the pool at the same time. Our design intentionally offers sub-spaces for different programs to take place at the same time. Our staff is also investigating how other aquatic centers use new speaker technology to isolate music or instruction to the specific area of the program. The new baffles will also aide in absorbing sound in the natatorium.
The new slides, climbing wall and added pool lanes will provide opportunities to add additional programs and schedule additional open swim times.
The zero entry into the family pool will offer opportunities for our youngest members to gain comfort in the water. In this shallow area of the pool we will have a toddler slide and water toy features.
- When will the facility open?
We are expecting a fall 2019 opening for the center. Once construction is complete, it will be important for our staff to be trained in the new spaces and processes.
- Will the old pools stay open until the new center opens?
It is our intention to have zero or limited pause to our aquatic offerings in the transitional process. We will keep community members up-to-date as we navigate this huge shift in our building.
- What will happen to the old pools?
Finding new uses for our old pool area will be the next YMCA chapter and we are incredibly excited to see how we can better serve our community with this re-purposed space! Currently our childcare center is without a permanent home and will be a primary focus for us in this next phase of construction. However we also want to take this opportunity to give our original building fresh life and evaluate the best navigational flow with the new addition to the Y.
- The old pools were in great shape, why replace them?
We are proud of how well our original pools have stood up to decades of use. And although our pools appear to be in great working order, pool technology has surpassed our systems. Parts are challenging to come by and repairs are occurring at a far greater frequency and scale.
- Why does it feel like the Community Aquatic Center project has taken so long?
The short answer is that it feels that way because it has taken a long time. The Community Aquatic Center is the result of an incredibly audacious goal for our organization. The vision for the center has gone through many iterations to ensure it would provide for the needs of our community for years to come. Fundraising was also a huge undertaking, requiring more funds than all of our capital campaigns since the advent of our Y combined. Once the design and fundraising was complete, construction also feels slow because building pools is more complicated than a basic addition to our facility.
- What is staff most excited about?
We are most excited by the opportunities this project grants us both in terms of programming and safety practices. We are also excited for further technology opportunities that will stream line check-in processes, pool maintenance and safety precautions.