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story.lead_photo.caption Joel Stanton, left, director of the Sheridan Parks and Recreation Department, and Sheridan Mayor Joe C. Wise Jr. await workers who will refurbish the swimming pool at the Sheridan Community Center. The pool and splash pad will open Memorial Day weekend. - Photo by Jennifer Ellis

Spring activities are underway at the Sheridan Parks and Recreation Department’s community center and sports complex. Summer is just around the corner, and department employees are getting ready for the anticipated crowds, especially at the swimming pool and splash pad.

“We are refurbishing the swimming pool; we are not building a new one,” Sheridan Mayor Joe C. Wise Jr. said. The pool was built in 1988 after residents approved a 1-cent local sales tax devoted to the Parks and Recreation Department to fund the community center and swimming pool, he said

Under the supervision of Joel Stanton, director of the Sheridan Parks and Recreation Department, the city is refurbishing the outdoor swimming pool, which is behind the community center at 1511 S. Rose St., including draining and completely replastering the pool.

“Everything inside the pool will be new, including the tile,” Stanton said.

He said work on the pool was set to start May 2 and would take five to six days.

“It will be ready by Memorial Day weekend, which is when we open,” Stanton said.

According to the 2018 proposed budget for the Parks and Recreation Department, the cost of refurbishing the pool, which has a capacity of 175 people, was budgeted for $110,000.

“The final cost will be approximately $55,000,” Stanton said. “We came in way under budget.”

Stanton said city officials are expecting an increase in people using the renovated swimming pool this year, as they saw “record numbers” in 2017 when they installed a new splash pad adjacent to the Junior Olympic-sized swimming pool.

“I have been here 13 years, and last year, we had the most people I had ever seen at the pool area,” he said, smiling. “Normally by mid-July, the numbers slow down because it’s too hot. But last year, we had lots of people all summer long.”

Work on the splash pad began in 2016 and was completed in 2017 at a total cost of $350,000. The splash pad features a toddler bay, a family bay and an action bay.

The swimming pool and splash pad will be open from 1-6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; from 1-5 p.m. Wednesday and Sunday; and from 1-8 p.m. Saturday. The pool is closed weekdays when schools are in session.

­­“Daily admission is $3 per person,” Stanton said. “Or you can buy a membership [pass] for $35 for an individual or $75 for a family of five, with $10 for each additional person. That membership gives you access to the pool and splash pad.”

In addition to the swimming pool and splash pad, the community center features two meeting rooms with a kitchen, a basketball court, racquetball court, a fitness room, a game room, tennis courts, a pavilion, a toddler playground, a skate park and an RV campsite with electricity.

The community center is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; from 8 a.m. to

5 p.m. Wednesday; from noon to 9 p.m. Saturday; and from 1-5 p.m. Sunday. Annual fees for the community center for Grant County residents are $10 for youth, 12 and younger; $15 for adults, 13 and older; and $25 for a family of five, with $10 for each additional person. Out-of-county-resident fees are also available.

The mayor said the city hopes to install a nine-hole disc-golf course this year and another nine holes later. The disc-golf course will be near the soccer fields in the sports complex, which is across the street from the community center. The sports complex also features walking and biking trails, softball fields, baseball fields, youth football fields, batting cages and a fishing pond with a pier.

“We have had a lot of people ask about a disc-golf course,” Stanton said. “We hope they will bring their Frisbees and use it.”

According to the department’s proposed budget, the cost of the disc-golf course will be $6,500.

Wise said the city is also building a dog park near the community center. The dog park will feature two sections — one for small dogs and one for larger dogs.

“A lot of people walk their dogs out here,” Wise said.

Stanton said the Parks and Recreation Department will refurbish the playground, at a proposed cost of $75,000.

“We hope to have that done by the end of summer,” he said.

Stanton said the Parks and Recreation Department has five full-time employees.

“We usually hire 55 to 60 part-time employees during the summer,” he said. “That includes lifeguards, concessions workers and others. This is a good place for local teens to work.”

For more information on Sheridan Parks and Recreation and its facilities, call (870) 942-7000.

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