Newton breaks in new swimming pool

Commissioner Leroy Koehn breaks in the new 21-foot tall slide at the Newton City Pool on Saturday.

By Adam Strunk

Newton’s moving forward.

That represented the gist of an exuberant message given by Commissioner Clint McBroom celebrating the grand opening of the city’s $2.7 million pool, Saturday Aug. 16.

“Newton is open for business,” he proclaimed, calling the pool a win for Newton and a larger grand opening for future city successes to be announced.

“We might still be waiting on trains, but we’re not waiting on progress,” he proclaimed to the large crowd.

Many wore swimsuits and were ready to hop in the pool once the talking was done. The Newton Rec Commission, Newton Board of Education and Newton City Commission all were present at the event in Athletic Park and gave statements commemorating the day, as well as thanking those involved.

The three bodies co-funded the pool through the public building commission, a joint taxing authority supported by the entities.

Gary Hill, Newton Chamber of Commerce President, also spoke at the event, which was technically a ribbon-cutting put on by the Newton Chamber.

Following the talks and thank yous came the breaking in of the slides.

Commissioner Leroy Koehn took the first official trip down the pool’s 21-foot-tall new blue slide.

Commissioner Rod Kreie slid down the refurbished 17-foot slide salvaged from the old swimming pool.

Commissioner Kathy Valentine went down the family slide and McBroom took a jump off the diving board.

Afterward, many others of the crowd took advantage of the event to get an early experience of the swimming pool.

Those early experiences will be pretty limited this year.

Weather slowed pool construction and the pool will only be open next weekend from 1-5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Kids floated down the 170-foot lazy river or ran under the dump buckets of water. The pool also includes lap lanes, a climbing wall, a basketball goal and a zero-entry area. It will take 14 lifeguards to operate at full capacity, seven more than the previous swimming pool.

The 294,000-gallon water facility was in part filled to help test the systems and test for any leaks so it will be ready to begin the 2022 swimming season.

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