Diving into summer: Ardmore’s Community Water Park announces plans for reopening

Drew Butler
Children and adults enjoy the attractions at the Ardmore Community Water Park in this file photo.

Ardmore Parks and Recreation is gearing up for summer. Things kick off this Friday when the Kid’s Fishing Derby returns to Regional Park. But it’s not officially summer in Ardmore until the Community Water Park opens its season on June 1.

Assistant Director Alicia Henry said the park would typically be opening on May 23, but they chose to delay it by a week because of the COVID-19 pandemic. There will also be a few new rules in place to help maintain social distancing protocols.

“We’ve adopted a few new rules to help make sure everybody stays safe,” Henry said. “Our patron max is usually 290 people, but we’re going to be reducing that number by 50%. We’ll also have some new procedures going within the park to make sure we’re following all the new rules.”

Henry said both the maximum number of swimmers and the new rules could potentially be relaxed or lifted as the summer progress. However this will all depend on the coronavirus and its impact upon the city.

The city will also be offering free swim lessons once again this summer, and anyone interested in signing up for a class can do so now at www.ardmorecity.org. From the home page, citizens can click the blue “register here button” to see a list of all the available class times and skill levels.

“We have classes available for a wide range of skill levels and ages,” Henry said. “From the website, you’ll be able to click on each session and see everything that will be taught in each class.”

Henry said those taking swim lessons for the first time do not have to take the beginning level class if they already have a few basic swimming skills. For example if a child is eight years old and already knows things like how to float on their back and tread water, they might not need to enroll in level one classes.

“The website should have all the information you need about what will be involved in each session, but if anyone has any questions, they can always give us a call.

The city will also be offering classes for lifeguard certification beginning this Sunday, May 17. These classes will cost $150 for first time certification and $65 for re-certification. Henry urged anyone thinking about signing up for either the free classes or lifeguard certification to do so as soon as possible. Classes sizes are smaller than usual because of the pandemic, and courses fill up quickly.