Splash gets started for the summer in Sherman

Jerrie Whiteley
Herald Democrat
This friendly little guy was waiting for the children who entered The Splash this week to kick off their summer fun.

Summer officially began for many Texoma families when they got to make their first trips to Sherman's The Splash Family Aquatic Center this week. The pool, which got a bit of a late start due to hang over issues from the COVID-19 enforced shutdown last year, is one of the many local industries able to reset itself this season.

The city's only public pool opened this week for public swim times only.

One of the families waiting to get inside on Thursday said they were really ready for the summer's coolest attracting to reopen.

Tara Hernandez brought four children with her Thursday for their first visit of the summer.

"It's exciting," she said. She added that last year was "kind of depressing and a boring summer without the city pool to help them beat the heat. 

"We typically would have opened up on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, (this year) we waited till Tuesday so that we could have more time to train people, said Sherman Parks and Recreation Manager Theresa Hutchinson in a phone call Thursday.

The Splash did not open at all in 2020, she explained, and that meant that many of the lifeguards that they had returning from the year before were not certified to return this year.

Lifeguards in training practice their skills at Splash Thursday

"Certifications are for two years," she explained. Generally speaking, she said, about half of the pool's 50 lifeguards return from the year before. But this year, more of them needed to be recertified. 

"We currently are offering another lifeguarding course with 13 enrolled in that class, and we are hoping to be able to get them trained and get them on staff quickly," Hutchinson said.

The pool currently has 13 lifeguards which is not enough to safely schedule for public swim times plus swim lessons and private parties. So for now, there are no swim lessons and there are no private rentals. The pool also is not offering season passes this season because of the uncertainty, still, about what it would do to the number of days they could be open if someone on the staff were to test positive for COVID-19.

Getting the new lifeguards trained and added to the staff, Hutchinson said, hopefully means they will be able to add swim lessons in July. She suggested people watch the pool's Facebook page  at https://www.facebook.com/SplashFAC/ for more information about swim lessons and private parties. If they are able to offer those things, she said, they will be provided on a first come, first served basis.

Lifeguards getting ready for their shift Thursday at The Splash in Sherman.

The price of enjoying all of that refreshing water at the Splash was set to increase last year. Since COVID-19 prevented them from opening, those increases have been rolled over to this year and are free for those two years old or under with each paying adult and then $5 for each person up to 15 years old. Those over six years old are $6 per entry. While they are not selling season passes this year, they are still selling punch cards which allows ten entries for $40 for Sherman city residents and $50 for non residents. At this time there is no time set aside for lap swimming only and no exercise classes are offered. 

The pool is open from noon to 6 p.m. Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays and from noon to 8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. It is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 1-6 p.m. Sundays.