Franklin Pool to open Saturday

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, May 20, 2015

NW0520 Franklin Pool Opening A

Summer doesn’t officially begin until June 21, but for many, Memorial Day weekend is the start of summer.

One of the more essential summer activities is taking a refreshing dip in the neighborhood swimming pool.

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The Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Department’s Franklin Pool opens Saturday for the start of the summer swim season. Opening day will be celebrated with a free admission day for all visitors.

“For our opening day, we just wanted to say, ‘Hey, come on out and enjoy the pool,’ ” Parks and Recreation Director Mike Mains said. “It is our way of giving back to the community.”

The Franklin Pool, which is near Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park, is a target destination for families, teenagers, school and day groups or those just wanting to cool off and enjoy a day of relaxation.

The pool is Olympic-sized with two diving boards and a detached baby pool. This year, the pool added a wheelchair transfer station to allow visitors with disabilities easier access. The pool has had a mechanical lift for years for those that need it, but the transfer station is permanent and easier to access.

Mains is looking forward to another busy season like the facility had last year.

“We have a great facility here,” he said. “There are some sports facilities that draw people in from the surrounding areas, and the pool is one of those. In our area, we draw so many people from all over.”

The pool has consistently been busy over the past few years and attendance has remained steady, Franklin Pool Manager David Nanney said. The pool frequently sees visits from day groups from local school systems and summer activity groups as well as a lot of walk-in business.

“Some of the larger groups can have as many as 150 to 200 kids come in with them,” he said. “We never know what kind of crowd we will have from day to day. We try to make sure we know when the larger groups are coming.”

He continued that many groups visit the pool during the summer. Day cares, youth groups and summer school groups frequently visit the pool facility. The pool also receives visitors from several surrounding cities, including Johnson City, Roan Mountain and Bluff City.

The department will end the season the way they started it, with another free swim day. On Sunday, Sept. 6., the pool will host the third “The Splash,” a free pool party for the community. The Splash will have inflatable attractions and a DJ to accompany the swim time.

“It is such a great event,” Mains said. “We have more and more people come each year. It really has a big turnout.”

The pool will be open from May 23 to Sept. 7 from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and 1-5:30 p.m. Sunday.

Daily admission is $3, with children younger than 5 admitted free with a paying adult. Children younger than 12 must be accompanied by a paying adult.

Group rates are $1.50 per person for groups of 20 or more, and one adult is required per 12 youth.

Season tickets are $80 and are good for 40 daily admissions. The season tickets can be used by more than one family member.

To rent a pavilion during hourly operation, the fee is $20 per hour.

Private evening parties can be scheduled for two hour periods starting at 6 p.m.

A private party for less than 50 people will be $125 and from more than 50 people the charge is $200.

For more information, call 547-6280.