WAHOO – During a summer replete with cancellations, a bit of good news can be found on the corner of Fourth and Elm streets in Wahoo.
The Wahoo Aquatic Center opened on Wednesday afternoon under sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 90s.
Under the current state directed health measures (DHM), the Aquatic Center will operate with a 75-person capacity limit for each two-hour session.
“Under the new DHM we felt that we could open the Aquatic Center and create a safe environment for everyone wanting to use the facility,” said Wahoo Parks and Recreation Director Kevin Stuhr.
With a capacity of 500, under the current DHM the Aquatic Center could open to as many as 125 patrons, but for the time being, the number is going to remain 75.
“We felt that right now that is a manageable number. Could that change? Sure it could,” Stuhr stated.
Each patron may attend one two-hour session per day. Admission to the Aquatic Center is first come first served.
All patrons will leave the facility after each swim session to allow staff to clean and disinfect.
The normal 10-minute rest break will be taken midway through each two-hour session.
As a result of the new capacity limits a residency requirement has been implemented. The Aquatic Center will admit Saunders County residents only. Individuals 16 years of age and older must present an ID to gain admittance.
“With only allowing a certain number of people in, we wanted to make sure that we catered to our constituency. The majority of the people who use Aquatic Center are from Saunders County and we want to make sure that we are able to serve them first,” Stuhr said
Youth under the age of 16 must be able to provide their address and a phone number before being allowed into the Aquatic Center.
Everyone at the Aquatic Center is asked to maintain at least six-feet of separation. Markings have been placed on the pool deck to designate and assist with maintaining proper social distancing.
There will be two lines for entrance, one for daily admission and one for season pass holders.
After verifying residency and getting names and phone numbers, staff will take the patron’s temperature prior to admittance. The temperature must be less than 100.4 degrees to be allowed into the facility.
With the new guidelines in place, Stuhr is pleading with everyone to have patience with the Aquatic Center staff, especially at check in.
“We just ask for everyone to be patient. Things are going to take a little longer. We understand that everyone is excited to get out and swim, but we want everyone to understand that things are going to take a little longer,” he said.
Patron’s will enter through the bathhouse and will exit through the picnic gate area.
The concession stand will be open and will offer primarily self-contained menu items.
Play features and amenities will be made available. Markings will be placed on the pool deck to comply with social distancing while waiting in line to use the play features.
Lounge chairs and picnic tables will not be made available. Those coming into the Aquatic Center can carry in and carry out their own chairs or loungers.
The basketball hoop will not be used. Access to lockers is prohibited.
Drinking fountains will not be open. Water bottles can be re-filled at the concession stand.
Life jackets will not be available, but patrons can bring their own.
The Aquatic Center will be open Sunday to Thursday from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.; 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Adjusted daily and season pass rates can be found online at wahooparksandrec.com.
“We are excited to open up. We feel like we have a really good plan in place and are confident that we will be able to provide a safe and fun environment for everyone,” Stuhr added.