When the Splash Family Aquatic Center at Fairview Park opens this year on May 23, patrons will see an increase to daily swim fees and the charges for swimming lessons.
The Sherman City Council recently approved a $1 increase for daily entry and a $5 hike for swimming lessons. The daily entry raise will just be for one-day tickets to the park, bringing the cost for kids to $4 per swimmer and $5 for adults 16 and up. The increase to the Learn to Swim Program will have city residents paying $35 for classes and non-residents paying $45.
“That’s a pretty good value,” Sherman Mayor Cary Wacker said of the one-day tickets. “I mean, it’s less than going to the movie and probably less than you spend on your cup of frozen yogurt if you go to one of those places.”
Individual and family season passes will also still be available. Sherman residents can get individual passes for $75 or family passes for $110. Non-residents can get individual passes for $100 and family passes for $140. Family passes include two pass holders, with additional pass holders available for $25. Punch cards, entitling the buyer to 10 admissions to the park, are available for $30 for Sherman residents and $40 for non-residents.
“That’s the best bang for the buck, the punch card or the season pass,” City Manager George Olson said.
The rate changes, which were presented to the City Council by Parks and Community Services Director Kevin Winkler and had the endorsement of the Parks and Recreation Board, are designed to help with the department’s cost recovery.
“Last year’s budget was $305,000 and we recovered 62 percent,” Winkler said. “Some things we don’t look to recover any money; for example the Easter egg hunt. On the other end of the spectrum, for adult sports we recover 100 percent. The industry standard for aquatics, most parks and recs look to 70 percent being the goal. With these changes, that would net us between a $25,000 and $30,000 increase in revenue and get us to 70 percent.”
In addition to the different programs yielding different rates of recovery, Winkler explained, things like citizen response, facility maintenance, weather, chemical costs, lifeguard certifications and vandalism are also factors.
“Being as we’re coming into our seventh season (at the Splash), we’re starting to get where we have to redo things,” Winkler said. “We’ve had to repaint one of the big slides already. There’s work on pumps and just different things at the pool that we’re having to do now that’s costing us more money.”
Sherman residents may begin signing up for the Learn to Swim Program on April 1 and the Parks and Recreation Department will be taking reservations for private rentals of the pool on May 1. Non-Sherman residents may sign up for swimming lessons on April 15 and make private rental reservations beginning May 15.
The Splash had 39,290 visitors during the course of the summer last year and 508 kids received swimming lessons. The aquatic center sold 170 season passes and 87 punch cards. There were 30 pool rentals and 48 cabana rentals during the season.
“We are currently taking applications for summertime help that will include 60 employees,” Winkler said, adding that 45 of those will be lifeguards. “If you know anybody that’s looking to have a summer job, send them our way and we’ll get them an application.”