By Wendy Nugent, Harvey County Now
NEWTON—The blue still water at the renovated Newton Municipal Swimming pool will welcome sun-drenched citizens on Saturday, which is the first day it’ll be open to the public.
The renovations started in January of this year, said Newton City Engineer Suzanne Loomis, and the design work began in the fall of 2020.
That means the pool construction went on much of the summer, with the pool opening at 11 a.m. following a 10 a.m. Newton Area Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting ceremony and grand opening.
The new pool holds 294,000 gallons of water and the project cost was $2.7 million, Loomis said.
Features include a climbing wall, a pelican slide, a refurbished slide from the older pool, an orange family slide and a run-out slide, which appears to be at least two stories tall with a winding slide. That’s the largest slide there now and doesn’t end with kids splashing into the water; it finishes on the ground.
Loomis said the family slide is extra wide for parents to go down with their kids, for instance.
The second-tallest slide was from the previous pool era.
“We just had it refurbished,” Loomis said.
The climbing wall is extra fun.
“You can fall in on this one, so that’s cool,” Loomis said.
The previous pool and this new pool are similar in size.
“It’s not bigger,” Loomis said about the new pool. “It’s different. It’s not significantly smaller by any means.”
However, unlike the previous pool, there is no baby pool with this one.
Because of the different amenities, like the large slide and pelican slide, the pool needs more lifeguards.
“It’s been a struggle this year because we’re not opening until the very end,” Loomis said about getting lifeguards.
Lifeguards usually are high school and college students, so college students will be going away to college and high school students will be busy with school shortly.
Other pool features will include spray features and a basketball goal.
“We wanted to add multiple features that appealed to a variety of age groups,” Loomis said, adding their local surveys indicated moms wanted to have zero entry into the pool.
There are also inflatables, like a lily pad.
“It’s a good thing for that preteen group—that and the climbing wall,” Loomis said.
The lap portion is designed so some swimming meets can be there.
There also are nine shade structures because people wanted those.
The design-build team is Dondlinger & Sons, Lamp Rynearson and Continental Pools.
In addition to the actual pool, new pumps, filters and chemical feed was installed. The bathhouse was remodeled where a family restroom was added and the men and women’s restrooms were updated, as was the concession stand, Loomis said.