Today at 1 p.m., the Marshalltown Aquatic Center opens for the season. The meandering river and water slides will be open until August 20 for residents to enjoy.
Geoff Hubbard, director of Marshalltown Parks and Recreation, stated that no new rules or regulations will be implemented this year. Although the center was affected by a lack of personnel last year, most notably by a reduction in hours and days, steps have been taken to ensure that there are sufficient lifeguards.
“Last year, we had 17 guards, 15 per day, seven days per week,” he stated. “That is not something we are capable of doing. The guardians would have become exhausted. This year, there should be 27 lifeguards, so everyone will have a few days off per week.”
Hubbard said lifeguards’ hourly compensation was raised from $11 to $13.
“The higher wage was a response to the lack of staff,” he explained. “And we’re not alone. Most pools lack sufficient security. Certain facilities in Des Moines were only accessible on specific days.”
Additionally, the city provided mandatory lifeguard instruction for free. The cost of training ranges from $250 to $300, which discourages individuals from applying for the positions, particularly because the applicants are typically adolescents or traditional college students.
“The city paid the lifeguard instructor,” stated Hubbard. The district permitted us to use the pool at no cost while attending secondary school.
Both measures facilitated the task of filling all available positions.
“Guards not paying for the class and receiving an additional $2 per hour is extremely beneficial,” he said.
Hubbard remarked that children would scream at employees, inquiring when they would be able to swim again, demonstrating their eagerness for the opening.
“We’ve received calls from parents asking when we’ll be opening,” he said. “We are extremely thrilled for this year’s launch. We are back to normal and staffed to capacity. There are no COVID protocols remaining. The opening signifies the arrival of summer.
Marshall Town Aquatic Centre
Monday through Friday, 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The address is 212 Washington Street.
Children under the age of nine must be accompanied at all times in and out of the water by an adult or a person at least 15 years old.
Customers must wear appropriate swimwear. No shorts or shirts with dangling threads allowed. No gym shorts are permitted. All attire is subject to personnel approval;
Children who are not potty trained must wear swim diapers and a swimsuit over the diaper.
No underwater endurance contests or prolonged swimming allowed;
No physical contact or grappling;
Only feet-first entry from the pool’s perimeter;
No jumping backwards or twirling;
No standing, propelling off, or plunging from floatable objects is permitted.
No outside containers or food allowed;
No smoking, vaping, alcohol or illegal substances permitted;
At the discretion of the personnel, personal devices such as water wings, toddler floating seats, and noodles are permitted.
No inner tube or air mattress floats permitted;
Any individual donning a personal float must be constantly supervised by an adult.