Summer fun is under way at the Optimist Pool, which has opened its doors again for another season when lifelong memories can be created. The pool will be open through Aug. 10.
The Optimist Club has served the city since 1946, with funds generated by the pool used to benefit youth in the community. One such way is through the college scholarships the club offers graduating high school seniors.
Optimist Pool manager Noel Baskin said the pool is a special place that has brought generations of residents together.
“I think that it is all about tradition,” Baskin said. “I grew up on this street and I started swimming here when I was little. Then I worked here and I started certifying lifeguards. They then asked me to run it.
“So, it is kind of hard to say no when something means that much to you,” she said. “Now, one of my kids is working here as a lifeguard.”
Optimist Club Secretary David Hudgins shared Baskin’s feelings about pool and its connection throughout the community.
“This is one of the towns left that have a public pool. So, with the Optimist and the city working together we have done nothing but improve this pool,” Hudgins said. “We just want to get the word out to the new people in our community and just outside of the community. The pool is a public pool, and it is open to everyone.”
Hudgins stated generations of residents grew up with the pool and have shared with the staff and club members about their experiences here and how they learned to swim.
Optimist Club board member Bryan Johnson stated they were able to make some basic improvements to the pool like some painting, patches and general clean up before it opened up for this season. Once the season ends this year, major renovations to the facility will start. He noted that attendance at the pool continues to grow. It is estimated that the pool will have around 4,000 visitors by the end of the summer.
“Next year the city and the optimist club have teamed up to revamp the whole pool. We are going to redo the concession stand, all of the concrete decking, we are going to have new lights that are going to be coming in,” Johnson said. “This is the last year that the pool will be in its old form. We are going to keep the old way the Optimist Pool looks. We are just going to spruce it up.”
Besides open swims and facility rentals, the pool will offer swimming lessons for children ages 4 years old and older from June 10-14. The first session is from 12:05-1 p.m., with a second session offered from 7:05-8 p.m. Swim lessons are $75 per child. Parents and guardians who can’t afford lessons but want their children to learn how to swim should contact the pool manager for scholarship information.
For more information about the pool, visit the club’s website at www.waxahachieoptimists.com. Staff at the pool can be reached at 972-213-3583.
Additional information can be found on the organization’s Facebook page by searching for The Optimist Club Pool Waxahachie.