Better than just a pool, new way to keep Altoona cool

The+new+spray+park+is+scheduled+to+open+May+23.+Photo+courtesy+of+cbrcparks.org

The new spray park is scheduled to open May 23. Photo courtesy of cbrcparks.org

Memorial Pool was a place well known in the community. Now something else has come to take its place, a new spray park.

 Memorial Pool was built in 1920 by student volunteers. As the years went on, pool attendance continued to decline. Since the last summer of operation, the pool averaged only 100 users a day. In 2009, Memorial Pool permanently closed its doors.

“The filtration system and the holding tanks were rusted and not functioning properly. All the underground piping connecting the filtration was over 60 years old,” K. Michael Hofer, executive director of Central Blair Recreation and Park Commission said.

WHen Memorial Pool closed, Prospect Pool remained available for local children and families. It is located at 1201 Second Avenue in Altoona.

However, the new spray park is contains over 20 different spraying water features with a sports theme, train slide and ground features. The spray park is over 6500 square feet and is set at a zero grade level.

“This means that there will be no standing water allowing access to people in wheelchairs,” Hofer said.

The water will be collected in a chemically treated water recovery system and recirculated back into the park. The park also has two picnic shelters available for party rentals, lounge chairs, picnic tables and a concession stand.

The grand opening of the park is scheduled for May 23. The operating hours of the park are 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. It will be open May 23-25, 30, 31, June 6- August 30, and September 5-7. The cost for ages 2-18 is $2 and 19 and over is $1.

“The park sounds like fun and I might attend,” Sierra McConnell- a student who used to go to Memorial Pool- said.

New seasonal jobs will be brought into the area when the park opens.

“Yes, about 10-12 new jobs will be created,” Hofer said.

Many new features were added throughout the park. The entire property including the playground and the existing bath house is entirely redeveloped with a new playground booster, basketball standards, ADA accessible walkways and two corn hole courses. The restrooms and changing areas were remodeled in the bath house as well.

“Please come out to support our new spray park!” Hofer said.