Three Grand Rapids Pools Opening Date, Fees Announced

Grand Rapids Press, Monica Scott


Three of the city’s swimming pools will open beginning July 5 but residents will have to pay $2 and nonresidents $5 to take a dip at Briggs, Martin Luther King Jr. and Richmond parks.

Last year, admission was free to those 17 and younger and $4 for adults, largely because of some significant donations. This year, the city will spend $250,000 to operate the pools and various donors are underwriting scholarships for season swim passes, swimming lessons and aquatic classes.

“It’s almost imperative that they open for our communities,” said Third Ward City Commissioner Elias Lumpkins, who said $2 will impact families struggling in the down economy but it’s better than no pools at all. “Growing up, recreation programs and swimming pools were a mainstay for us. It’s an activity and a skill (learning to swim) children need.”

First Ward Commissioner Walt Gutowski said the scholarships should help some families. He said the city pools and parks are essential to the community’s quality of life.

Connie Bohatch, managing director of community services, told a city/schools liaison committee Friday that Grand Rapids families can qualify for up to a 50-percent discount on season pool passes, if their children are eligible for free or reduced school lunches.

The pool passes for residents will run $34 for individuals and range from $68 for a family for two to $170 for a family of five or more. For nonresidents, passes start at $85 and range between $170 and $425 for families.

The swimming pools will be open through August 20. They are open from noon to 4:30 p.m., but hours could vary slightly by pool.

In 2009, resident adults paid $2 and youth $1 per visit

“The City Commission made it clear to me in putting together the budget that they wanted pool service included,” said City Manager Greg Sundstrom. “It’s important to our residents.”

The city’s wading pools open Monday through August 12 (Monday through Friday) and admission is free. Those pools are at Campau, Cherry, Garfield, Wilcox and Westown parks. The hours will be the same as the swimming pools.

Water playgrounds at Aberdeen, Alger, Gerald R. Ford, Heartside, Joe Taylor, Mary Waters and Mulick parks also are free. They will be open from 1 to 5 p.m., Monday through August 14 (Monday through Sunday).

Bohatch said that, for the first time, the city is offering pool rentals on Sunday, when they don’t have programs. She said Briggs, Richmond and Martin Luther King will be available for birthday parties, corporate picnics, church functions and other events.

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