By Michael Pineda
It was so much more than a simple reopening of a city facility, as Kimbell Bay once again opened its doors to the public Friday afternoon.
The pool had been closed for the past two years. Given the attendance at the ribbon-opening and subsequent free community swim, people were ready to welcome back an old friend.
“This is not just a pool opening, this is tradition, this is memories for people in the neighborhood,” Jessica Brodmerkel, Yukon Parks and Recreation special events coordinator, said. “You have people coming up to you and saying, ‘I learned how to swim in this pool 60-plus years ago, my daughters learned to swim. They became lifeguards at this pool.’
“It’s so exciting to see this pool back up and running again. That brings back memories; that touches the heart. It’s not just a simple pool opening,” she said.
Mayor Shelli Selby joined Parks and Recreation board members and staff and Yukon Chamber of Commerce Director Pam Shelton for a ribbon cutting. Before the ribbon cutting a line of over 100 people had formed, waiting to enter the pool.
“It is amazing and long awaited,” Selby said. “I’m just so proud of the city for working so hard to get this happening today.
“The line is huge, the people are here and the kids are having a great time. We love our pool over at the community center, but this pool is special in a lot of people’s hearts because they took their first swim lessons here.”
Those visiting the pool were welcomed with new signage as part of the effort to spruce the area up. Concessions were open with five lifeguards on hand. Parks and Recreation Director Chris Lucas said the lifeguards were switching stations every 15 minutes with three up and two down.
“We have a really big turnout,” he said. “I think right now, we are at about 140. We still have them streaming in. We will have the after-work crowd coming. So, we are just excited about having this back open. It’s great just to hear the laughter and see the smiles.
“It is good noise. It is noise we haven’t heard from here in two years, at least from the pool perspective. So it is really good to have this back open,” Lucas said.
Saturday, the pool opened under regular hours, noon to 5 p.m. It will be open seven days a week. The city’s other aquatic facilities also opened up during the holiday weekend, ushering in a full slate of activities for city residents in what is expected to be a busy summer.
“You have the whole family coming out,” Lucas said. “It’s fun for everyone.”
“It’s Memorial Day weekend, it’s the beginning of summer. You think about going to the pool. You think about being with your family and friends, being able to kick off the summer. The weather turned out beautiful. The water is beautiful. You couldn’t ask for anything better.”
Kimbell Bay pool is located at 525 S. 7th Street in Yukon.