MAKING A SPLASH: City preparing for summer fun with pool, splash pad

May 7—Memorial Day weekend always marks the beginning of summer fun, and kids and adults alike can enjoy the swimming pool and splash pad in Tahlequah beginning May 24.

Parks and Recreation Superintendent Brian Speake and Recreation Coordinator Tiffany Sien have been preparing for the season to begin.

The hours have changed since last year for the Tahlequatics pool. Hours are now Wednesday-Sunday, noon-7 p.m., and the entry fee is $5.

Lifeguards will be present at the pool during open hours, with a staff of at least eight guards on duty at all times, Sien said. The address for the pool and slide is 1048 W. Allen Road.

"We have 25 lifeguards lined up," Speake said. "We recruited from past year's guards and a job fair in Hulbert."

High school and college students make up the crew, and about half of the lifeguards are returning from last year, Speake said.

"The biggest issue we have is parents dropping off children and they go do their errands. That requires a lifeguard to have to watch that child," Speake said.

Speake admonishes parents to not drop off children to play by themselves unless they are strong swimmers. The age limit to be left alone is 11 and older. Any younger, and the child must be accompanied by an adult.

Monday's are reserved for maintenance, and on Tuesday, the pool can be rented for private parties, Speake said.

The city is working with Tobacco Endowment Settlement Trust to bring healthier options to the concession stand.

"The selections are still the same as last year but will have healthier options added," Speake said.

The Splash Pad on Water Avenue will be open seven days a week, from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. There are no lifeguards at this facility.

"A lot of people enjoy the splash pad," Speake said.

Mayor Suzanne Myers said the entire community looks forward to pool season in Tahlequah.

"I know people enjoy bringing their families and taking young children for swimming lessons and renting out the facility for parties," Myers said. "Our staff provides a well-monitored and clean facility for all in the community to enjoy."