Locals “beat the heat” at the official season opening of the Aquatics Carl Levin Outdoor Pool on Tuesday afternoon.
Conveniently located in the town center, the pool offered perfect leisure time activities for children and adults alike.
“We love it here,” said Jailyne Brown, who enjoyed the cool water with her 1-year-old son Jayden. “This pool is so family friendly and has a very nice environment.”
The Aquatics center provides a children-friendly, shallow pool with sun roof as well as a deep lap swim area.
Natalia Gonzalez from Killeen brought her 5-month-old daughter, Allessandra Williams, to the pool swim for the very first time.
“It’s perfect for little babies,” Gonzalez said. “This pool is definitely my favorite so far in the area. No one is hurting each other and the life guards are really paying attention.”
Supervisors ensured that there are seven to eight lifeguards on duty at all times.
“All of our lifeguards are American Red Cross certified and we have them in training every Monday … to keep them up-to-date on their skills,” said Aquatics Supervisor Anna White.
To keep everyone safe, visitors need to follow some basic pool rules.
“We don’t allow any glass or alcohol and want everyone in appropriate swim gear,” White said.
Non-swimmers should bring floats to stay safe in the water.
“We prefer water floaties with a chest wrap only,” said Aquatics Supervisor Taylor Williams. “Those are Red Cross certified.”
The Aquatics pool is open Tuesdays to Friday from 1.30 to 7 p.m. and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends.
“Every hour at the top of the hour we have adult swim for 10 minutes so all the kids can take a break,” Williams said.
While kids waited impatiently to get back in the water, adults enjoyed the break.
“As a parent, I love the rest time,” Sarah Pena said. “The kids can get caught up in playing and forget to get hydrated. It gives me the opportunity to give them some water and reapply sun screen, while the adults can swim their laps.”
While life guards are on duty at all times, parental supervision for children is important.
“If your child is young and can’t swim, keep them in an area that they can touch ... and be within arm’s reach,” lifeguard Thomas Walsh said.
He suggested parents to keep a close eye on their kids, especially if they are not comfortable in the water.
“If your kid is a little older ... tell the lifeguard that he can’t swim that well to keep an extra eye on him,” Walsh said.
This way, a fun-filled day at the pool is guaranteed for everyone.
“We come here every summer,” Javier Pagan said, with his son Javier Jr. (7) and daughter Hayley (10). “It’s affordable, not crowded, the kids can jump and bring their own toys and food.”
Pool admission for residents is $3 for adults and $2 and youth. Non-residents pay $5 for adults and $3 for youth. Seniors pay $2, while children under the age of two are free.
Season passes for residents and non-residents are also available.
The Aquatics pool also offers swim lessons. Interested parties can register in person only at the Harker Heights Recreation Center at 307 Miller’s Crossing.