With yet another cold front pushing into the area, it may be tough to think about splashing around in Great Bend’s Wetlands Aquatic Center, but the City Council Monday night learned that plans are under way to get the pool facility ready for summer.
Paige Achatz will return to supervise the water park during the summer, City Administrator Howard Partington said in his departmental update. They have completed staffing needs for the season and held a meeting with the staff March 28.
In the works for this year are all new large umbrellas. The old ones, installed when the park first opened in 2005, have been patched and repaired to the point they need to be replaced.
Also new for the summer will be some deck and lounge chairs and new American with Disabilities Act-compliant steps into the pool to meet recent federal regulations regarding handicap access.
Partington said the city sent one of the head lifeguards to Wichita to become a certified lifeguard instructor. Great Bend now have three people on staff who are certified to train lifeguards.
In addition, crews will be replacing the signage throughout the pool area. It is currently in rough shape and dates back to 2005.
The center is scheduled to open May 25.
In another sign of spring, the Parks Department has assisted with ball field preparations at all fields in anticipation of the upcoming baseball/softball seasons, Partington said.
This work has included:
• Adding new windscreen and fence caps to Langhrer Field.
• Assisting with the unveiling of the new metal artworks at the complex, donated by the Harms Trust.
• Completing work on the south parking lot and entrance into the ball complex.
• Planted approximately 40 new trees at the complex.
The department has also assisted with the second-annual Great Bend Farm and Ranch Expo and assisted with repairs to the Convention Center, and also set-up and tear-down for events there.