Evidence may point to the contrary this weekend, but the outdoor season is upon us, as citizens will begin looking for aquatic relief from the warmth of the sun.

The Ardmore Parks and Recreation Department opened its four splash pads Wednesday and will open the Ardmore Community Water Park May 25. Throughout the day Tuesday, department employees visited each of the parks with splash pads preparing them for the public. The splash pads will be open until Oct. 1.

“They are very low maintenance,” Kevin Boatright, Ardmore Parks and Recreation Director, said. “It takes a few hours on each splash pad.”

The Ardmore Community Water Park is a different matter as it is more involved. Department employees will begin preparing the facility for opening three weeks in advance.

“They will put the shape structures back up and will turn the water on, not only for the pool, but the locker rooms and bathrooms,” Boatright said. “There is a lot of time taken up doing that.”

The park will employ 23, ranging from cashiers and concession attendants to a manager and assistant managers. And there are also lifeguards to be employed and trained.

“We begin taking applications after spring break,” Boatright said. “We are lucky in that we have a number of employees come back each year but I can tell you from experience you can never have enough lifeguards. The process to become one is not easy, it’s an in-depth process. You can’t just pick someone and say they are going to be a lifeguard, there is a lot more to it than that.”

Boatright said the department puts water in the pool a week or 10 days before it opens in an effort to make sure the pool and all the bells and whistles that it features are in good working condition.

“We want to know if there are any mechanical problems and the electric motors for the sprays are working correctly,” he said. “It gives us plenty of time to make sure everything is in working condition. Every year, there is some small maintenance issue that has to be addressed.”

Splash pads are free to the public. Admission to the water park is ages two and under are free, under 12 is $4 is and 12 and above is $5 daily.

Michael Pineda