With the addition of a $28,000 water slide, a Pickerington neighborhood swimming pool hopes the investment pays off by boosting both its profile in the community as well as its membership rolls.
The Huntington Hills Recreation Club is a non-profit, privately-operated pool that allows non-residents of the Huntington Hills subdivision to join as associate members. The pool is at 6313 Springbrook Drive N.W. in Pickerington.
Recreation club President Jon Hanna said the new water slide is a big investment, but well worth the outlay in expenses.
"It's about 11-feet tall and is a 33-foot run, so it's pretty good size," Hanna said.
"It makes almost a full circle coming down the tube running into the pool. We're pretty excited," he said.
The slide cost $28,000, and the recreation club also put an additional $6,000 in cement work to build an apron around the pool.
The recreation club's board of trustees has been contemplating the pool improvements for some time.
"It's been a project that we've had in the back of our minds for four or five years," Hanna said. "We received majority approval from our membership and moved forward," he said.
The process didn't end there. The state must approve the improvements.
"The state regulates all modifications to commercial swimming pools," Hanna said.
"It's a fairly strict code. It requires them to come out and inspect the slide. We received preliminary approval on all the drawings.
"Once we get the pool operational in May the (state) will do an on-site inspection," said Hanna.
Perhaps what makes the project extra-special is the fact that erecting the slide was a team effort amongst Hunting Hills Recreation Club members.
"We did all the labor ourselves," Hanna said.
"We supplied all the equipment and people to erect it," he said. "We probably had about 14 people there and we did it over a weekend."
The HHRC pool was founded in 1976 and has been a popular destination not only for Huntington Hills residents, but for non-resident members as well.
"You can live anywhere you want to as long as you want to make the drive," Hanna said.
"It's a fifty-fifty mix between residents and non-residents in our membership, but it fluctuates each year," said Hanna.
Recent figures indicate 310 families are enrolled as members, he said.
As for the slide, Hanna said it has generated a lot of interest from Pickerington-area residents.
"They are really excited about it," he said.
"We have people come down and stare through the fence all the time. Kids are talking about it.
"We're trying to get information out to let people know we've got it," Hanna said.
The pool has a paid staff of 46, including many teenage concession stand workers and life guards.
"We provide a lot of first jobs for kids in the community," Hanna said.
"I was once asked where I get my lifeguards and I said 'we grow them.'
"We have a bunch of real good kids and they really enjoy working here," he said.
Opening day for the HHRC pool is May 26, however, Hanna said he hopes people continue to come out and look at the improvements and possibly consider becoming members.
"We're kind of a well-kept secret, but we don't want to be that way," Hanna said.
"We pride ourselves on being a family-oriented pool with a lot of family events."
For more information about the Hunting Hills Recreation Club pool, call 614-837-0293 or visit www.hhrc-pool.com.